Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Helicopter night flights for Portsmouth's QA hospital

A Hampshire hospital has been given the go-ahead to receive emergency patients by helicopter during the night.

Portsmouth City Council has approved an application by Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust to vary flight restrictions at the Queen Alexandra Hospital.

The changes will allow patients to be flown in between 18:00 and 22:00 and later if the case is in an emergency.

Residents living nearby are worried about the downdraft, fumes and noise.

'We are delighted'

Previously the hospital's helipad could only receive flights between 08:00 and 18:00 or between dawn and dusk, which ever was shorter.

People living in Orkney Road and Arran Close, about 50m away from the hospital's landing site, had argued that patients could be taken to Southampton instead of Portsmouth or flown to Fort Widley, which is a two-minute ambulance ride from the hospital.

The trust's chief of medicine, Richard Jones, said: "We are delighted with the city council's decision today.

"The main reason for opening the helipad at night is to get major heart attack patients to the cardiac unit as quickly as possible to receive angioplasty treatment.

"By allowing us to change the landing restrictions on the helipad at Queen Alexandra Hospital more people will have access to our services and we will be able to save more lives."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites