‘It’s ridiculous to think about moving surgery’

SUPPORT John Batchelor is backing The News campaign to keep vascular surgeons at QA.   Picture: Paul Jacobs (113174-3)
SUPPORT John Batchelor is backing The News campaign to keep vascular surgeons at QA. Picture: Paul Jacobs (113174-3)
Staff Andrea Pledge, Ellie Hardy, Susan Hazzard and Mary Ramsay celebrating 21 years in Cosham. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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JOHN Batchelor knows that sooner or later he will need the expertise of vein surgeons.

The 78-year-old of Green Farm Gardens, Hilsea, has an aneurysm between his chest and abdomen, which he has been warned could burst at any moment.

His condition was picked up by specialists when he visited Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, because of hardening of the arteries.

Now, five years later, John’s aneurysm has grown so big that if it bursts it could prove fatal.

John visits QA every three months for check-ups with vascular surgeons.

But is concerned he may not survive if proposals to move vascular services to Southampton go ahead and his aneurysm bursts.

He said: ‘It’s a constant worry on my mind.

‘There is no pain and it doesn’t stop me doing things, but I am always thinking what if, and if all the surgeons were 15 miles away in Southampton then I’d be even more worried.

‘I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that we have one of the biggest hospitals in the area and they are thinking of moving services out.

‘It’s sacrilegious to do such a thing.

‘This is why I have sent a letter to stop the service from going.’

The move has been proposed by a Primary Care Trust cluster called Ship – made up of Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth PCTs.

It is one of three options that has been put forward.

The second is for QA to provide treatment for Portsmouth and Chichester patients, while the third option would see Portsmouth retain some of its services.

The PCT cluster has started a six-week engagement process, which ends September 30.

The News has written an open letter to the PCT asking for a full three-month detailed consultation to be held on the plan.

And so far we have received hundreds of copies from readers who back our campaign.