Hundreds sign up to support helipad plans

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HUNDREDS of people have signed up to support night-time helicopter landings at Queen Alexandra Hospital.

Former ambulance worker Richard Inskip, who lives near the Cosham hospital, set up a Facebook group to generate support for health officials’ plans to scrap landing restrictions on QA’s helipad.

And in the space of just a week, more than 440 people have joined the group – including neighbours and QA staff. Many speak of their support for the hospital’s plans, which have been opposed as too noisy by some neighbours.

Mr Inskip, of Deal Road, Wymering said: ‘I’m surprised at the big response. It can only be a good thing.’

Meanwhile, Portsmouth City Council has received the hospital’s planning application to scrap the 8am to 6pm planning restrictions on the helipad.

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust says it needs to have 24-hour landing capability to save more lives and to safeguard the hospital’s heart attack service.

Hospital officials say this service could be at risk when Southampton General Hospital gets a 24-hour helipad in the autumn. There are fears that health bosses from places such as the Isle of Wight could stop sending patients to QA and opt for Southampton where they can get a 24-hour service instead.

Many are backing QA’s plans, including the leader of Portsmouth City Council, Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson who has registered his support for the planning application.

The public now has three weeks to comment on the application. Mr Inskip said: ‘If even a handful of people have their say it’ll make a powerful argument for the application.’

Visit the council’s website at portsmouth.gov.uk, and scroll down to the Popular Pages section. Go to the Planning section and click on ‘view/comment on planning applications’.

Once on the planning page, scroll down and go to the link called ‘Link to PublicAccess search page’. There you just to search ‘Queen Alexandra Hospital’ and register to comment.

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