New Portsmouth site chosen for centralised ambulance hub

NEW HOME The site in Northarbour Road, Cosham and inset, Neil Cook, director of operations for South Central Ambulance Service. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (123504-1)
NEW HOME The site in Northarbour Road, Cosham and inset, Neil Cook, director of operations for South Central Ambulance Service. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (123504-1)
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THE site for a new and much-bigger ambulance station to serve Portsmouth and the surrounding areas has been revealed.

As previously reported in The News, South Central Ambulance Service (Scas) plans to close its bases in Portsmouth, Gosport, Fareham and Havant, next year.

Neil Cook, director of operations for South Central Ambulance Service.

Neil Cook, director of operations for South Central Ambulance Service.

In its place will be the South East Hampshire Resource Centre – which will be in Northarbour Road, Cosham, Portsmouth.

It will be a building near to the site of Rolls-Royce Marine Electrical Systems.

The central hub is scheduled to be up and running by October 2013.

Head of operations at Scas Neil Cook said: ‘We have got planning permission for a site in Northarbour Road in Portsmouth. We will be making changes to it so that it will be fit for purpose.

‘We are in talks with contractors to start this process.’

The service hopes to appoint a contractor by the end of the year, and the plan is for the centre to be complete by July or August next year.

The decision to close the stations in favour of a centralised hub was taken to modernise the service.

‘The building in Eastern Road, where we currently are in Portsmouth, is not fit for purpose anymore,’ added Mr Cook. ‘The ambulances don’t even fit in some of the stations

‘So we have found this site. We have chosen it because it has good links to routes for Portsmouth and the surrounding area.

‘It will improve our training and we will be able to use our resources better.

‘All the ambulances will be maintained at one site.’

The first station to move next year will be Portsmouth, which has around 110 staff working from it.

Then the other 90 staff, made up of workers from the Gosport, Fareham and Havant stations, will move shortly afterwards.

The service is keen to keep rapid response vehicles in each area, and the standby point system currently in place, which sees ambulances wait at various locations, will remain.

Mr Cook said: ‘We will have smaller units for each site so staff can have break during their shift. And the standby points crews go to will also remain.

‘People should not worry that an ambulance will not get to them.’