WORK is underway to improve The Royal Bournemouth Hospital's helicopter landing pad.

The improvements will see the current pad enlarged to allow for bigger helicopters to land.

The upgrade will also make the pad more illuminated to allow for night flying.

The new landing pad is funded by a £119,000 grant from The HELP Appeal.

The work started in earlier this month and is expected to be completed by early August. Helicopters will land at St Peters School playing fields while work is being carried out.

Richard Renaut, Chief Operating Officer at The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals, said: “We’re delighted our helipad is soon to be open to night flights, thanks to the generous donation from The HELP Appeal.

"The new facility will help us ensure patients coming into the Hospital via helicopter receive the care they need as quickly as possible both day and night."

Robert Bertram, Chief Executive of the HELP Appeal, said: “It’s an honour to provide funding to The Royal Bournemouth Hospital for its upgraded lifesaving helipad – which will ultimately help to save a number of lives by reducing the patient transfer time within that critical first hour of care.

“As a charitable organisation that supports hospitals across Great Britain with essential funding, we understand that time is life. Providing air ambulances with just a few additional minutes to reach an incident, by cutting distance to be travelled, can make all the difference to the survival and recovery of a patient in critical care.”