People urged to join debate on QA 24-hour landings

TAKE-OFF The air ambulance leaves Portsmouth Historic Dockyard after it was called to deal with a patient
TAKE-OFF The air ambulance leaves Portsmouth Historic Dockyard after it was called to deal with a patient
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Have your say

THE NHS is urging people to have their say on plans for night-time helipad landings at Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital.

There are less than two weeks left to comment on Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust’s planning application to remove the 8am to 6pm landing restrictions.

Most patients coming in by air ambulance are heart attack patients who need treatment quickly.

Consultant cardiologists at QA, who treat heart patients, are calling on the public to support the plans.

Richard Jones, consultant cardiologist and chief of medicine, said: ‘When someone is having a heart attack time is critical, so it’s important they get here quickly.

‘Changing the restrictions on landings could save lives.’

Over the weekend the air ambulance proved its worth again when it was first on the scene at a suspected heart attack in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

The alarm was raised at about midday on Saturday when one of the re-enactors entertaining visitors by Victory Gate collapsed.

Paul Woodman, who works at the dockyard as a tour guide, said: ‘They got here quite quickly and it was an impressive piece of flying. The helicopter made a very tight landing between the Georgian tea room and the Nauticalia shop with hundreds of visitors watching.’

Paramedics on board the helicopter started treating the 74-year-old man, but it was decided to take him to QA by road ambulance as his condition was not as serious first thought.

He is still undergoing observations in hospital.

Meanwhile, more than 460 people have joined a Facebook group to support the plans for the air ambulance to be able to land at QA 24 hours a day.

So far 30 people have made comments to Portsmouth City Council about the planning application – some in support and some objecting.

Those who object are mainly from the Cosham Heights estate – the housing estate nearby QA. Many say they oppose the plans because of the noise helicopters would make at night.

The public has until Friday, August 26 to make a comment. The council’s planning committee is then expected to make a decision at its meeting on September 22.

To have your say, visit portsmouth.gov.uk, scroll down to the Popular Pages section, click on ‘view/comment on planning applications’. On the planning page, scroll down and go to the link called ‘Link to Public Access search page’ and then search ‘helipad’.