THE biggest hint that most vascular surgery will remain at Queen Alexandra Hospital has been given.
Simon Jupp, director of commissioning for the Wessex Area Team (Wessex), gave a presentation to a council meeting, which revealed it would back a network model being ironed out by Portsmouth and Southampton.
As reported, Wessex will be deciding if specialist vein surgeons will be working jointly between Portsmouth and Southampton, or mainly in Southampton.
At Hampshire County Council’s health, overview and scrutiny committee, Mr Jupp said that both Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust (PHT), and University Hospital Southampton are in fresh talks to provide the services jointly.
That would mean many patients in the Portsmouth area not having to be taken to Southampton for vascular surgery.
Councillor David Keast, from Havant Borough Council, was at the meeting.
He said: ‘I found the presentation by Mr Jupp very positive.
‘He said Portsmouth and Southampton have engaged in a new dialogue.
‘He said about 30 to 50 of the major cases would be dealt with in Southampton, but apart from that, the rest would remain in Portsmouth.
‘That’s positive news.’
Wessex said the model was very much ‘a work in progress’.
Mr Jupp said: ‘The desired outcome is a shared, local network provided through a collaborative approach by the hospitals serving Portsmouth and Southampton is likely to be the best solution for patients in south-east Hampshire.
‘This is very much work in progress; and dialogue between the two hospitals is continuing on how the vascular surgery service can be provided for the benefit of all patients.
‘NHS England welcomes the continued efforts of both trusts in seeking the most appropriate solution to deliver services that are safe, sustainable and that meet the national specification.
‘NHS England will consult with all stakeholders before any proposed changes are made in the delivery of this important service.’
PHT confirmed it was talking to Southampton.
A meeting between clinicians from both sides are due to meet and discuss the model.
Peter Mellor, director of corporate affairs and business development for PHT, said: ‘I am very happy to endorse the recognition that an outcome agreed by the clinicians from the two hospitals is one that is the most likely to provide the best care for local people.’
WHY VASCULAR SURGEONS ARE IMPORTANT FOR QA TRUST
VASCULAR surgeons may not be as well-known as cancer surgeons or children’s wards.
But they are at the centre of much of the lifesaving work at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.
They are vein experts, who can operate on arteries and veins, meaning their expertise touches many areas of the hospital.
Their help can be called upon at any time – most notably during delicate cancer operations which often require the presence of a vascular surgeon.
Without them, these types of operations could become risky.