Last chance to have say on future of vascular services in Portsmouth

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PEOPLE have the chance this week to speak out on why life-saving vascular services should remain in Portsmouth.

NHS England Wessex is proposing to move all major vascular operations from Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham to Southampton.

Two sessions this week will allow people to say why it should stay in Portsmouth.

The service treats a range of conditions that affect the arteries from minor conditions such as varicose veins to more complex and emergency treatments.

But changes could see all major operations carried out at the University Hospital Southampton. It will affect around 300 operations a year.

The consultation is an opportunity to hear from NHS England commissioners and vascular surgeons about plans for the future of the service.

At the drop-in event, staff will discuss the proposals, listen to concerns and answer queries.

Dr Liz Mearns, NHS England’s Wessex Medical director, said: ‘In 2015, an expert clinical review by the Vascular Society concluded that change was needed at both Southampton University Hospital NHS Trust and Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust to ensure safe, high-quality vascular services and to meet the future requirement to provide seven-day working across the NHS.

‘The report recommended the best way of securing resilient services would be the creation of one Wessex Vascular Network.

‘Our doctors agree and together we have developed a plan which we believe will create a world-class service in southern Hampshire.

‘We want to hear from patients, relatives, carers and the public so that we can make any changes work in the best interests for patients.’

Two sessions are being held with the first in Gosport tomorrow. It is at Thorngate Halls, off Bury Road, between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.

The Portsmouth session on Thursday is at Dennis Sciama Building, University of Portsmouth, Burnaby Road, between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.

For information, or to register attendance, contact Sue Pratt on 0117 900 2476 or email swcscomms@swcsu.nhs.uk.