QA’s vascular future is left in the balance

UNCERTAIN FUTURE Vascular surgeon Mark Pemberton in an operating theatre at the QA Hospital. Picture: Paul Jacobs (114461-7)
UNCERTAIN FUTURE Vascular surgeon Mark Pemberton in an operating theatre at the QA Hospital. Picture: Paul Jacobs (114461-7)

From broken bones to new beginnings

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THE trust in charge of paying for specialist vein surgery still wants to move the majority of services out of Portsmouth.

The Wessex Area Team commissions vascular surgery along the south coast.

At the moment, both Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, and Southampton General Hospital provide the service.

But to be in line with European standards, bigger centres of excellence need to be created.

Since the guidance came in, Wessex believes the best way to deliver this is move the majority of services to Southampton.

In a letter sent to both hospital trusts and council scrutiny panels, Wessex chief executive Debbie Fleming reiterated that: ‘Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust does not meet the minimum requirements for achieving the specification in isolation.’

An independent panel – the Wessex Clinical Senate – looked at the matter and concluded a joint network model between the two trusts would work well.

But, as discussions on this are still ongoing, Wessex said it cannot ‘do nothing’.

At the end of this month, Wessex will reveal its plan of how to achieve its plan over a phased approach lasting two years.

Wessex will meet with Portsmouth City Council’s health, overview and scrutiny panel, on March 20, to see if it thinks it is a significant change, and therefore require a consultation.

Councillor Peter Eddis, chairman of the committee, said: ‘My understanding is Wessex is still trying to move the majority of vascular work to Southampton.

‘If this should happen, we see it as a very significant change for the area.

‘I would think it needs a full consultation.

‘QA has the facilities, Southampton would need capital building programme for vascular.’

If a public consultation does take place, Wessex said it would take place between May and August 2014, which would allow for any agreed changes to be implemented from autumn.