Calls made for hospitals to share out vein surgery

Vascular Surgeon Mark Pemberton, pictured in an operating  theatre at the QA Hospital''''Picture: Paul Jacobs (114461-2)
Vascular Surgeon Mark Pemberton, pictured in an operating theatre at the QA Hospital''''Picture: Paul Jacobs (114461-2)

NHS organisations give advice on where to get treatment this winter

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MORE work needs to be done to get two hospital trusts talking about vascular services, so it remains in Portsmouth.

At a Portsmouth City Council meeting, a motion put forward by Councillors Darren Sanders, and Will Purvis, was backed by others.

They called for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Queen Alexandra Hospital, and Southampton, to work together and have a joint specialist vein surgery rota.

They also condemned an independent panel suggesting surgery should move to Southampton.

Cllr Sanders said: ‘Removing vascular surgery from QA will turn off the life support system these services need, making Portsmouth second fiddle to Southampton yet again.

‘That would be vicious for the people of our city and its neighbours too.’

Other councillors also showed their support for the motion but Councillor Aiden Gray, who represents Cosham, said the proposers were living in a dream world.

‘The people proposing this need to wake up,’ he said.

‘Seconds count when it comes to life or death and if someone is in surgery but then suddenly needs vascular surgery, it is ridiculous to think they would have to travel by ambulance to Southampton.’

Deputations were also made on the matter including a statement from Syd Rapson, former senior governor of Portsmouth Hospital Trusts.

He said: ‘QA has the best purpose-built facilities anywhere in the south of England.

‘The surgeons are truly at the top of their game.’

As previously reported in The News, the Wessex Area Team, which pays for the specialist service, brought together the Wessex Clinical Senate.

National guidelines recommend fewer centres with more expertise is better, so the NHS is looking to restructure services.

The senate’s report seemed to indicate vascular services are better placed in Southampton. But that has been criticised, with as only one member of the 18-person panel was based in Portsmouth, while the majority have links with Southampton.

Wessex stresses the panel is independent and does not represent the view of a senate member’s organisation.