Safe Space, the walk-in service in Guildhall Walk offering medical help or wellbeing support on Friday and Saturday nights, has announced that it will be open from 10pm - 5am on New Year's Eve.
Safe Space is run by the South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) whose trained clinicians provide on-the-spot medical assistance as well as respite and a safe space for anyone who needs it. SCAS work alongside partners including Street Pastors, Hampshire Constabulary, local bars and clubs, and GP and healthcare providers, in providing Safe Space. In addition to medical support they can also advise on subjects such as sexual health, alcohol and drug use and personal safety. The Safe Space team can signpost visitors to other services such as minor injuries units, out of hours GP services and mental health crisis teams.
During the last financial year (2018/19), Safe Space saw 397 visitors with the most common reason for attending being an injury. This helps to reduce the demand on 999 callouts, ambulance staff and A&E.
Cllr Matthew Winnington, Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care at Portsmouth City Council, said; "We want everyone to enjoy celebrating during this festive period and are delighted that Safe Space is opening on New Year's Eve as well as its usual Friday and Saturday nights. It provides such a valuable service to anyone needing medical help or some support, perhaps if they’ve had too much to drink, have become separated from friends or have had a row with their partner. Safe Space helps to ensure that our emergency services can concentrate on those who are most at need."
Dr Elizabeth Fellows, Portsmouth GP and clinical chair of NHS Portsmouth CCG, said: “It is great news that Safe Space will be open on New Year’s Eve – obviously we want everyone to have a great night, but we also know that some people will get hurt, or into other difficulties, and so it is essential to have expert help close at hand.
“I would personally like to thank the staff in advance, because they will be providing us all with a vital service at a time when most of us just want to relax and spend time with friends and family.
“More generally, we should spare a thought for all frontline staff over the whole Christmas period, and do our best to minimise the demands on them whenever we can. While most of us will be on holiday, staff will be working flat out at Safe Space, in ambulances, at A&E, in GP surgeries, on the wards, visiting people at home – I hope we all use them wisely, and appreciate the efforts they go to on our behalf.”
Safe Space will continue to open Friday and Saturday nights 10pm - 3am.