Don’t miss your chance to speak up about plans

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COMMENT: Funding PTSD programme could end up saving money

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Pauline Sandy knows more than most how vital the helipad at Queen Alexandra Hospital really is.

If she’d not been able to fly there directly from her Isle of Wight home, her story might have ended very differently.

As it is, she was receiving treatment at the state-of-the-art heart attack department here in Portsmouth as soon as possible.

The hours that were saved by flying her across the Solent should not be under-estimated.

Understandably, she hopes that no-one else will ever need to use the services of the air ambulance or QA’s helipad – but in reality we all know that many more people will.

Although Mrs Sandy travelled during the day, she speaks from the heart when she urges those people who are against a proposal to change the restrictions on night landings to think again.

She says simply ‘It should be available at any time of the day.’

And surely that is the crux of the whole argument surrounding this issue?

None of us can know when we might find ourselves in need of medical assistance.

But surely we all want to know that when our lives are in danger, everything will be done to make sure that we will get the best possible treatment available, in the quickest possible time.

When you’re talking about people’s lives, every second counts.

Those who have said that night-time landings will be noisy and create a disturbance must understand that they live near a hospital.

We should be grateful that air ambulances can now fly patients directly to hospitals. It’s a great opportunity to get people where they need to be quicker than they could be there by road.

Of course we have sympathy for those who feel that their quality of life will suffer if the changes go ahead.

But whatever side of the argument you stand on – either for the changes or against – it’s crucial that you make your feelings known.

The deadline for comments is the end of Friday. It’s vital that Portsmouth City Council hears from everyone before then.