Improved Ambulance Station could be rebuilt off Portsea island

CLOSING? The Ambulance Station in Eastern Road, Portsmouth.  Paul Jacobs (052834-2)
CLOSING? The Ambulance Station in Eastern Road, Portsmouth. Paul Jacobs (052834-2)
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PORTSMOUTH Ambulance Station could close and move off Portsea island.

South Central Ambulance Service is planning to close the station in Eastern Road, Portsmouth, as it is no longer fit for use.

A potential site is yet to be identified, but locations off the island are being considered.

Spokeswoman Michelle Ullett said: ‘Scas has been looking at potential sites for relocation for some time.

‘The current facility is more than 50 years old and is no longer fit for purpose.

‘We’re committed to providing the best service and in order to achieve this it is essential facilities meet the needs of a modern day ambulance service.

‘We’re looking to consolidate our estates into a larger facility, which will not only house our staff in the area, but also improve the vehicle maintenance, staff training and most importantly the accessibility to all areas.

‘Relocating the main Portsmouth ambulance site is not withdrawing the services, but improving them.’

Several standby points are located around Portsmouth, where ambulances are placed in order to cover a wider area.

These hubs will still be in place and so patient response times should not be affected.

Terry Carter, acting chairman of patient support group Link, said: ‘It is about bringing improvements and the general principle of having strategic positions is good.

‘The key issue is making sure response times are not affected and the move keeps to patient’s best interests.’

And Cllr Peter Eddis, who is chairman of the health overview and scrutiny panel at Portsmouth City Council, is also cautiously welcoming the plans.

He said: ‘Fifty years ago the Eastern Road was a much clearer route.

‘But now it is regularly blocked, so it makes sense to rebuild it off the island.’

He added: ‘At the moment we are not concerned about these plans.’