HOSPITAL officials have officially submitted their bid for night-time helicopter landings at Portsmouth’s main hospital.
Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust is applying to the city council to scrap the current 8am to 6pm landing restrictions on the helipad at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham.
The council, which imposed the restrictions when granting permission for the helipad to be built in 2007, will make the ultimate decision.
But members of the public can have their say on the issue and are being urged to do so by QA officials.
Dr Richard Jones, a consultant cardiologist and chief of medicine at QA, said: ‘The main reason we want to open the helipad at night is to get major heart attack patients to our cardiac unit as quickly as possible for life-saving treatment.
‘This is the public’s chance to have a voice on the hospital’s proposals.’
People living nearby QA have expressed mixed opinions about the plans.
Some oppose 24-hour landings as they say the helicopters already make too much noise during the day.
But others have spoken out in support and say lives being saved comes above any noise caused by the air ambulance and coastguard helicopters.
And support is continuing to grow with nearby resident Richard Inskip setting up the Support QA Air Ambulance Night Landings group on Facebook.
Mr Inskip, of Deal Road, Wymering, used to work for the ambulance service as a first responder and a control room operator.
He said: ‘I find it hard to understand that someone can value their peace and quiet so much that they are willing to adversely affect someone’s chances of survival.
‘If someone has a cardiac arrest you have about 30 minutes to do something and ideally an hour to treat. Outside the hour after the incident the outlook generally starts to look worse, hence the use of helicopters.’
He added: ‘Where I live, the helicopters come right overhead. I actually find the sirens from the ambulances far more noticeable.’
To join the Facebook group search Support QA Air Ambulance Night Landings on facebook.com.
The council is processing QA’s planning application. Details of how people can have their say will be announced soon.