Patients’ group is angry at plans to move surgeons

Queen Alexandra Hospital
Queen Alexandra Hospital
Emma Sunderland-Hansen, Kiera Baillie, fundraiser Debbie Webb and Rachel Hibbert. Picture: Keith Woodland

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THE city’s patient group is to tell regional health bosses it is incensed by proposals to move expert surgeons from Queen Alexandra Hospital to Southampton.

The Portsmouth Local Involvement Network (LINk) has written a strongly-worded letter to NHS South Central, criticising plans to move QA’s vascular surgeons to Southampton General Hospital.

The LINk says it not only has concerns for patients who need vascular surgery, but also those who have operations such as cancer surgery, when a vascular surgeon may be called on to repair a damaged blood vessel.

In the LINk’s letter, chairman Jock McLees, says: ‘Portsmouth LINk wishes to express its deep concern at the possible centralisation of vascular services at Southampton. We believe that such a move is detrimental to patients served by Queen Alexandra Hospital.

‘Portsmouth LINk members and all members of the public so far contacted are incensed at this proposal.

‘It appears to us unjustifiable to deprive a brand new state-of-the-art hospital of the ability to conduct a number of different forms of surgery.

‘The patient experience will undoubtedly suffer; there is also cause for concern about the effect on patient safety.’

Mr McLees said he has written the letter on behalf of not only patients in Portsmouth but also those in the surrounding areas.

He added: ‘We’re sending this letter to tell them that it’s simply not on.

‘We hope it will put pressure on them to not pursue this proposal.’

Meanwhile NHS South Central, which is looking at the proposal to centralise care, has reiterated that no decision has yet been made and a public consultation will be launched in the summer.

In preparation for this The News has launched a Keep it at QA campaign and we are asking as many people as possible to write into us and tell us how they feel about the proposal to move QA’s surgeons. We will then compile a dossier to give to NHS South Central.

To contact us email keepit@thenews.co.uk, or write to Keep it at QA, Editorial, The News, The News Centre, Hilsea, Portsmouth, PO2 9SX.