Not enough QA vascular surgeons to provide the required cover

A review has found there are not enough vascular surgeons at Queen Alexandra Hospital for it to be a specialism hub
A review has found there are not enough vascular surgeons at Queen Alexandra Hospital for it to be a specialism hub

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THERE are not enough vascular surgeons at Queen Alexandra Hospital for it to be a hub for the specialism.

That’s the main issue that QA would need to address, according to a review carried out by the Vascular Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

We have no intention to jeopardise any other services at QA at all

Dr Liz Mearne, medical director at NHS England Wessex

The information was fed back to NHS England Wessex, which pays for the service.

Its medical director said plans were being considered and wanted to reassure people that services such as renal and cancer at QA in Cosham would be protected should some vascular surgery move to Southampton General Hospital.

Dr Liz Mearns said: ‘The chief problem at QA is the availability of vascular surgeons as there are simply not enough surgeons with that qualification around.

‘The physical operating theatre space at Southampton was an issued identified there.

‘This is not a criticism of any staff and a lot of this is identified with sites across the country.

‘We are talking about arterial surgery moving, which is the big blood vessels, but pre and post-surgery meetings would still take place at QA.’

A review was carried out by the president and vice-president of the society last month.

In its review the society found ‘a range of issues at both hospitals that need addressing to ensure high quality sustainable services in the future.’

It also said change was needed to ensure services complied with the standards set by the society and to provide seven-day cover.

The report goes on to say the ‘best way of securing resilient services would be the creation of a southern Hampshire network of vascular services with Southampton operating as the single hub for the county and the Isle of Wight’.

Dr Mearns said that Southampton becoming a hub would affect around 10 patients a year and would not affect other services supported by vascular surgeons

such as renal and cancer.

She added: ‘We have no intention to jeopardise any other services at QA at all. We will ensure those services are protected.’

Wessex is now working with both hospitals to formulate a plan and, once this has been devised, it will be presented to the four health, overview and scrutiny panels (Hosp) in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight by next month.