Portsmouth health services say working together is the way forward

East Southsea Neighbourhood Forum had an update on health services in Portsmouth
East Southsea Neighbourhood Forum had an update on health services in Portsmouth
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HEALTH services are hoping to work more closely together to improve care for patients.

A number of representatives from different care organisations in Portsmouth attended the East Southsea Neighbourhood Forum meeting to give residents an update on health provision.

It may be that we have to share some services so we can get them that expertise seven days a week.

Simon Holmes

They also spoke about how they want to improve care and their plans for the future.

Simon Holmes is medical director at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Queen Alexandra Hospital.

He spoke at last night’s meeting about the importance of seven-day services and the way to move it forward.

Mr Holmes said: ‘From a hospital point of view, we want to move to a seven-day service.

‘To do that, we need to work closely with other service providers.

‘That means some people may have to travel for their care. I know that is not always popular but that is the way health care is going.

‘We need to start working with Southampton and the Isle of Wight and move patients to where they will get the best clinical outcome.

‘It may be that we have to share some services so we can get them that expertise seven days a week.’

During the meeting, the five healthcare professionals gave a presentation about the organisation they represent and what challenges it faces.

Ellen McNicholas, deputy director of nursing at Solent NHS Trust, said the trust had faced shortages in community nursing staff.

‘At one point a few years ago we had vacancies in nearly 50 per cent of our nurse positions,’ she said.

‘By September, we are hoping to have all of these filled. It is important all services can work together in a single approach.’

Councillor Jennie Brent, who represents Eastney and Craneswater and is also chairman of the Portsmouth health overview and scrutiny panel, was reassured by plans made for the future.

She added: ‘I am very excited about the future and all these experts that have spoken this evening.’