The closing date for members of the public to comment on Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust’s planning application to vary the flight restrictions on the helipad at Queen Alexandra Hospital is fast approaching.
The Trust is seeking permission to vary the flight restrictions on the helipad to meet the changing, and future, health needs of patients in Portsmouth and the surrounding areas.
Current planning permission for use of the helipad is between 8am and 6pm, or from dawn to dusk, whichever is the shorter. The Trust wants permission to allow urgent patients to arrive by helicopter between the hours of 6pm and 10pm, and for the allowance of night time arrivals when it is a life saving option.
The Trust’s planning application was received by Portsmouth City Council on Tuesday 26 July and members of the public have until Friday 26 August 2011 to make a comment. This is the last date that any public correspondence can be received. The council’s planning decision is expected to be made at their meeting on the 22 September.
The request to vary the restrictions is based on clinical reasoning. While the majority of critically ill patients are brought to Queen Alexandra hospital by ambulance, there are some occasions when patients need to be more urgently transported to the hospital for life saving medical attention. The helipad enables the rapid transportation of these critically ill patients who need urgent treatment within a short period of time.
The majority of patients who come to the hospital via air ambulance are experiencing heart problems.
Richard Jones, Consultant Cardiologist and Chief of Medicine, said: “When someone is having a heart attack, time is critical, so it is important they get here quickly. Changing the restrictions on landings could save lives.”
The Trust’s application can be viewed on the Portsmouth City Council websiteby clicking on the link and typing ‘helipad’ into the search bar. The Trust’s application will come up and members of the public can make a formal comment that will be given due consideration in the planning decision making.
Further information about the helipad, including a Q&A, can be found at http://www.porthosp.nhs.uk/helipad.htm