G5 ward to remain closed despite criticism from independent panel

Queen Alexandra Hospital
Queen Alexandra Hospital

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PORTSMOUTH’S hospital trust has been criticised for the way it handled the closure of an end-of-life care ward.

The independent panel, which was asked by the Health Secretary to investigate the closure of G5 at Queen Alexandra Hospital, today released a report into the controversial decision.

It acknowledged that Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust had handled the closure badly - not consulting with enough people properly and not giving people all the information about the closure and rationale for replacing the service.

But, the panel concluded that ‘turning the clock back’ and reopening the ward was not feasible.

It also recognised the new service that replaced G5 - a mobile nurse team which works across many wards - was a genuine attempt to improve end of life care. But it has said urgent action must be taken to ensure the new service works and is audited and monitored vigorously.

Ursula Ward, the chief executive of the hospital trust, said: ‘Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust welcomes the final report of the Independent Reconfiguration Panel.

‘We welcome the recommendations within the report which reflects the work that we have already started to implement to ensure continuous improvement to our end of life care provision.

‘However, we recognise that there are improvements still to be made.

‘We are committed to partnership working and will increase our engagement with patient and public representatives alongside NHS partners and GPs.’