Portsmouth medical equipment centre due to close this month

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THE Red Cross may soon have to stop providing a service which lends wheelchairs and commodes to patients in Portsmouth.

Funding for the charity’s centre in Robinson Way, Anchorage Park, Portsmouth, is due to be cut at the end of this month.

The centre is run by a team of six volunteers and is open for two hours a day from Monday to Friday.

Solent NHS Trust, which commissions the service, said it will not be renewing its current contract.

Medical equipment will still be available for loan at the Community Equipment and Resource Centre, which is also in Robinson Way.

Dave Meehan, the trust’s chief operating officer, said: ‘We can confirm a decision was made not to continue with the contract for short-term medical equipment loan we currently have with the British Red Cross.

‘We are still in dialogue with the Red Cross so cannot currently discuss in public issues regarding this due to commercial confidentiality reasons.

‘We would like to assure anyone who uses this service there will be no disruption to the provision of equipment.

‘Solent NHS Trust will continue to provide this service with the high standards patients have been accustomed to.’

Colin Brown, operations director for the Red Cross in Hampshire, said other services are available in the county.

He said: ‘Should the contract come to an end, then we will work with the trust to ensure a smooth transition for all clients to an alternative service, provided by the trust.

‘People are encouraged to get in touch if they have any further questions.’