WORK has begun this week to construct an emergency helipad on the roof of the car park at Southampton General Hospital in Hampshire. The project is part of the hospital's transformation into a major trauma centre and will allow the air ambulance to set down directly at the hospital, rather than on a playing field two miles away, saving up to half-an-hour in transferring critically-ill patients to the emergency department. Dr Andy Eynon, director of major trauma at Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "We are absolutely delighted the work has begun. This will benefit the whole population of Wessex. It will prove vital for patients suffering from time-critical illnesses, such as strokes and heart attacks, where half an hour can make all the difference."