Fears for future of QA voiced by inquiry chairman

THREATENED Vascular services at the QA are under review

THREATENED Vascular services at the QA are under review

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COUNCILLORS investigating proposed changes to vascular surgery in the area say they fear for the future of Queen Alexandra Hospital.

A review of vascular services was announced earlier this year by primary care trust cluster Ship.

A number of options were put forward including one to move all vascular surgeons – experts in veins and arteries – to Southampton and another to share the service between QA in Cosham and Southampton.

Councillor Bob Forder is the chairman of a committee at Gosport Borough Council which has decided to hold its own inquiry into the plans.

His group met health bosses involved in the review and plans to meet the town’s GPs next year.

Cllr Forder said: ‘When you look closely you realise it would mean less work being done at QA. Not only will this mean less money for the cash-strapped hospital but it will call into question the viability of a host of important services including renal, stroke, cancer and diabetes, as these depend on the availability of vascular surgeons.

‘This is not what Gosport was promised when Haslar closed.

‘We were told we would have a world-class superhospital. We think that concept will be degraded with important services being diverted to Southampton and patients having to travel further.’

A three-month consultation will be launched in the new year to help shape the way vascular surgery is delivered in the area.

But no decision has yet been made on what the final options will be.

Ship says it will work with Southampton and Portsmouth hospital trusts to allay any financial impact on QA.

Sarah Elliott, the director of nursing for Ship, said: ‘At this stage nothing has been decided, but two options are emerging and are likely to be the subject of public consultation in the new year.

‘We will only consult people on options that do not undermine the clinical viability of other services at Queen Alexandra Hospital and have asked local and national clinical experts to confirm any options do not adversely impact other services.’

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