Campaigners’ high hopes over G5 ward report

CAMPAIGNER Will Purvis with the G5 petition outside
CAMPAIGNER Will Purvis with the G5 petition outside

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CAMPAIGNERS hope a report into the controversial closure of G5 will bring about public consultation and the reopening of the ward.

The independent panel called on to investigate the closure of the end-of-life care ward for over-65s at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, has now handed over its report to the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley.

The panel has spent the last three months looking into the closure and has met hospital bosses and staff, campaigners and councillors.

It is not yet known what the panel has found or decided – nor whether it believes Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs QA, was wrong to not consult more people about the closure, nor its view on whether the decision to close the ward was the right one.

And although the report has now gone to the Secretary of State for Health, it is unlikely it will be made public for about a month, to give Mr Lansley time to go over it.

But while campaigners wait to hear the panel’s decision, they are hopeful it will reflect the strength of anger felt across the city.

Will Purvis, from the Save G5 Campaign Group, said: ‘I look forward to reading the report and I hope that they have taken note of the serious concerns raised by patients, their families and staff at the hospital.

‘When making substantial changes to care the hospital must always consult the public.

‘I hope that the report will recommend that a full public consultation takes place and that the G5 ward should be reopened – at least while any new model of care is trialled first to see how it compares.’

He added: ‘We will be writing to the Health Secretary to re-iterate the strength of public opinion against the closure of the G5 ward and calling on him to carefully consider the details of the panel’s report.’

The panel’s report will make recommendations to Mr Lansley.

The decision about what action, if any, should be taken ultimately lies with him.