Portsmouth South MP expresses anger at delay on vascular decision

MP Mike Hancock says vascular surgeons should stay in Portsmouth
MP Mike Hancock says vascular surgeons should stay in Portsmouth
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PLANS that could see specialist vein surgeons move out of Portsmouth should be dropped, according to an MP.

Mike Hancock, who represents Portsmouth South, has written to the head of the Wessex Area Team, which is in charge of paying for vascular services along the south coast.

He urges the commissioners to drop plans to move parts of the service to Southampton.

In his letter to Sue Davies he says: ‘Many people in Portsmouth are worried that no decision has yet been taken by on whether vascular surgery will be retained at Queen Alexandra Hospital.

‘I’m sure you are aware this is hugely concerning for those living in Portsmouth and further delays in finding out whether QA will retain specialist vein surgeons is rightly causing anger.
‘While Wessex must work to improve mortality rates, some improvements have already been made with greater communication between vascular surgeons at QA and Southampton, and more can be done through this co-operation.’
Mr Hancock then said: ‘The removal of vascular surgeons would be disastrous for QA, but the continued delay in your decision is making the current situation even worse.
‘I urge you to drop any potential plans to remove vital specialist vein surgeons from QA and to update myself and others as soon as possible on any decision taken.’
Currently both QA and Southampton General Hospital provide the service.
Wessex drew up one plan which would see services being centralised in Southampton, and another with it being shared between the two sites.
These both need further work and as a result the business cases for each will not be ready until March.
Vascular surgeons at QA have been working in a network with Southampton since July last year – this will continue until the business models are completed.
Wessex is working to meet national vascular specifications to improve mortality rates in England as it has some of the worst results in Europe – but these changes should have been put in place in October 2013.
Councillors on Portsmouth City Council’s health, overview and scrutiny panel have agreed that the proposal to move the majority of vein surgery from Portsmouth to Southampton would count as a significant change for the area.
This means a three-month public consultation would be undertaken, after which a decision would be made by Wessex and any changes implemented in October this year at the earliest.