New home for clinic to treat revellers in city

Safer community day highlights key services in town

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A LATE-NIGHT clinic is moving to the heart of Portsmouth city centre night life to help drunk and vulnerable people.

Safe Space is being run at Hippodrome House in Guildhall Walk from this weekend.

The clinic has moved from its home on the outskirts of nearby Guildhall Square to be closer to the revellers.

The new venue – leased by the new Stadium bar – is on the ground floor to allow easy access.

It will house three beds for treating patients, a waiting area and separate space for agencies including police and Portsmouth Street Pastors.

It will also be used to treat some drinkers from other nightspots in Portsmouth including Albert Road and Palmerston Road.

NHS Portsmouth-funded Safe Space started as a pilot last August. It is so successful that backing has been given until at least March 2013.

Alan Knobel, alcohol lead for the Safer Portsmouth Partnership, said the new venue was in a better place.

He said: ‘The ambulance service’s view was that it was more immediately in the heart of the night time economy area, it provides a flat level access so they can park the ambulances right at the back and bring people straight in.

‘They haven’t got steps which they had at the old Safe Space so it makes it more usable for the ambulance service, which they felt means it could be better used.

‘And they can also bring people from other night time economy areas who would perhaps otherwise be taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital.’

Paramedics have helped support 595 people with injuries ranging from a patients with a slashed throat to head injuries since the centre opened – easing pressure on the stretched Emergency Department at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham.

Portsmouth Street Pastors have also supported more than 150 people.

The Safer Portsmouth Partnership, made up of organisations including police, Portsmouth City Council and firefighters – awarded the contract to run the service to South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

Safe Space is open from 10pm until 3am on Friday and Saturday nights.