In September 2012 it was announced that St George’s Hospital was to build a £4m helipad to help reduce transfer times for critically ill patients. This will be the second helipad in London, the first being at the Royal London hospital, Whitechapel.
It was announced that Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance and London's Air Ambulance will use the helipad. It is the first to be south of the river.
St George’s hospital recently submitted a revised planning application to Wandsworth Council which proposed a smaller helipad of 23m by 23m, rather than 28m by 28m as was originally planned. If this application had been approved it would make the helipad too small to receive Search and Rescue helicopters.
The installation of a helipad at St George’s has been welcomed by everyone; however local residents were extremely concerned by the proposed amendment to reduce the size of the helipad. Although Search and Rescue are not expected to be used that often, people wanted to be reassured that if a catastrophe did happen, Search and Rescue helicopters would be able to land at St George’s.
Sadiq shared local concerns and raised them with the hospital trust. The hospital has subsequently withdrawn their revised planning application so that the situation can be reviewed further. It is expected that the Trust will resubmit a planning application in the next few months.
Sadiq Khan MP said:
“I am relieved that the Trust has listened to our concerns and has now withdrawn this planning application.
“Of course we all hope that we won’t have a need for a Search and Rescue helicopters in Tooting, but with a £4m investment local people are right to expect the helipad to be able to cope with all eventualities.
“I look forward to reviewing the Trust’s application when it is resubmitted in the coming months.”