WATCH: Air ambulances can't land after hospital helipad wrecked by US aircraft

The Helipad at Addenbrooke's was destroyed by a USAF Osprey aircraft

The landing pad at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge was destroyed by a USAF military aircraft. - Credit: Trailspotter

Air ambulances are unable to land at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge after its helipad was destroyed by a US military aircraft during a training exercise. 

Emergency medical crews must now fly critically ill patients to Cambridge City Airport, three miles away, before they can be transferred by land to Addenbrooke's. 

Footage posted yesterday on You Tube shows the landing pad being ripped up by the draught from a departing US Air Force (USAF) CV22 Osprey. 

The Osprey, which is based at RAF Mildenhall, was taking part in a USAF training exercise. 

Dr Victor Inyang, medical director of East Anglian Air Ambulance, said: “Due to an incident at the Cambridge University Hospitals helipad involving a military aircraft on Wednesday, April 21 the helipad is temporarily unavailable to air ambulances.

“The next closest helipad is at Cambridge City Airport, where one of the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) teams is based.  

“It will be possible for the EAAA helipad to be used as an alternative landing site during this time and have patients transferred to Addenbrooke’s from there by land ambulance.

“Addenbrooke’s is the major trauma centre for the region, therefore quick and efficient transfer of critically ill or injured patients to the hospital is vital.

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“Using the EAAA helipad is the best alternative while the CUH helipad is reinstated.”

A spokesman for Cambridge University Hospitals said: “While our normal helipad is being repaired air ambulances will temporarily land at nearby Cambridge City Airport and patients are then transferred to the hospital in road ambulances with critical care staff on board, meaning we can continue to see and treat them as normal.”

A spokesman for RAF Mildenhall said the USAF was "taking steps to rectify" the damage as soon as possible. 

Major Keavy Rake, from the public affairs department at the Suffolk air base, said: “The area was surveyed according to our policies and procedures and some damage did occur.

"We are taking steps to rectify as soon as possible. Our units are continuously coordinating with our local partners to improve operations. We are greatly appreciative of the relationship and coordination we have with the U.K.”

 

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