A Safe Space on a night out in Portsmouth

Safe Space at the Guildhall Walk Healthcare Centre is open every Friday and Saturday night, 10 pm to 3 am and on special days such as New Year’s Eve. This year the service will also run every night throughout Fresher’s Week, and will be open from the 13– 21 September 2019 (including the usual Friday and Saturday opening hours).

Safe Space provides an all-round health and wellbeing service as well as a safe place for anyone who is looking for a short respite on a night out and can help individuals contact friends and or family if they have any health or safety concerns.

Run by South Central Ambulance Service clinicians provide on-the-spot medical assistance to those who need it, to advice on subjects like sexual health, alcohol and drug use, or even personal safety. The Safe Space team can also signpost visitors to other services such as minor injuries units, out of hours GP services and mental health crisis teams.

Safe Space has proven to be a valuable asset and has had a real impact on the number of ambulance crews called to the busy town centre, in some cases for pavement side ‘see and treats’ that often don’t require a visit to the emergency department.

Over the years Safe Space has also built relationships with other agencies such as the Street Pastors, Hampshire Constabulary as well as the pubs and clubs who depend on the service. In 2018/19 alone there were 397 recorded visitors to Safe Space with some form of injury being recorded as the most common reason for being seen. The majority of people seen were in the 20-29 age bracket. Overall the service estimates to have saved 167 ambulance call outs to the City Centre during 2018/19.

Portsmouth’s Safe Space is one of many alcohol intoxication management services (AIMS) but has the ambition to break free from this label of that and do far more towards improving the health and wellbeing of all those visiting Portsmouth on a Friday and Saturday night who are in need of help or advice at a time when other avenues of care may not be available.