AMBULANCES were diverted away from Queen Alexandra Hospital due to high demand at the A&E department.
On Saturday, for about 90 minutes, South Central Ambulance Service had to take patients to other emergency departments in the south.
The decision to divert ambulances is only taken after talks between health organisations such as Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, Scas and Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group.
Six ambulances were diverted to Southampton General Hospital.
A spokeswoman for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs QA Hospital, said: ‘A decision to divert emergency patients is not taken lightly by the health community in Portsmouth, and is only taken after in-depth discussion with our NHS partners.
‘Emergency patients were diverted during a period of exceptionally high demand on the afternoon of October 1, to ensure that our highest levels of patient safety could be maintained.
‘The divert lasted for a total of 90 minutes.’
A spokesman from Scas added: ‘A total of six ambulances were diverted from QA to Southampton.
‘Any decision to divert ambulances is triggered by a proposal from the hospital that is then discussed and agreed with the CCG and Scas.
‘We endeavour to accommodate such requests for a short period of time while ensuring we can still deliver a safe, responsive service locally.’
PHT is urging patients to pick the right place to go to get medical care.
The spokeswoman added: ‘We would ask patients to think twice and choose well before coming into the emergency department.
‘By considering some of the alternative options for medical care, you will reduce the demand on the department and allow for those with significant medical problems to be managed and admitted more effectively.’
The incident came just days after 11 ambulances were seen queuing outside the A&E department.
At one point last Wednesday, the access to A&E was closed off to all vehicles but ambulances.