London's Air Ambulance Helipad &

Royal London Hospital Museum

                                                                             London Air Ambulance Visit.

 

A very wet and windy Wednesday 14 August 2019 saw 17 of us setting out for the London Air Ambulance Service. No, we were not suffering from over exposure to the elements, but on a visit to the Air Ambulance Helipad and the London Hospital Museum.

We found that the Air Ambulance had already been on a call to Clapham Junction railway station earlier in the morning, and we were lucky to be able to see it touch down on the hospital roof and to meet some of the crew and have a look in the ambulance itself. The London Ambulance Service is called to about 5 or 6 major trauma incidents a day, typically these are falls from buildings above four floors, major impacts with moving vehicles, or, all too often these days, knife stabbings.

The ambulance can be airborne within 4 minutes of receiving a call and can be on the ground anywhere within the M25 in a further 12 minutes. A doctor, paramedic and occasionally a consultant will then provide immediate care and stabilise the patient. We were surprised the hear that 90-95% of the time the patient is then taken to hospital by regular ambulance and it is seldom necessary to fly the patient to hospital.

We were also able to visit the London Hospital Museum which was a treasure-trove of hospital life dating back to its founding in 1740 and culminating in the opening of the new Royal London Hospital building in 2012. Exhibits included a series of short films depicted many patient’s stories including that of Joseph Carey Merrick, ‘The Elephant Man’ treated in the late 1880s.

Our visit to Whitechapel ended with a well appreciated lunch at the White Hart Brew pub, just across the road from the hospital.  

Phillipa White

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