THE FIRST helicopter landed at the new helipad at Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, this morning.

Hospital officials assembled outside the Accident and Emergency Department at 11.30am to watch the landing just before midday.

The new helipad was officially opened by the Chairman of NHS South West Charles Howeson.

Jo Cubbon, Chief Executive at Musgrove Park Hospital, said: "The helipad will allow us to provide an even higher level of service for the people of Somerset who need expert help quickly after injury or sudden illness.

“We live in a rural area and road transport is often too slow to deal with emergencies.

"In addition, treatments for illnesses such as stroke and heart attacks are improving significantly and it can make a huge difference if patients can get to a well equipped accident and emergency centre quickly."