Setting up a vascular network is a ‘priority’

An operation in progress
An operation in progress

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WORK to establish a rota so vein surgeons can carry on operating in Portsmouth needs to be sped up.

That’s the message that has been given by the head of a new health trust, which will start running from April.

Nationally, the NHS Commissioning Board will pay for specialist services, such as vascular work.

Portsmouth and Hampshire falls into the Wessex area, which is headed by Debbie Fleming.

In a letter she said: ‘It’s encouraging we have begun to make good progress in developing plans for phase one of our local clinical network.

‘However, the new national specifications mean we need to speed up our discussions and agree the model for the longer term – and this is now the focus of our attention.

‘Within Wessex we have already begun the process of working with our NHS provider trusts to implement the national specification.

‘We held a workshop for stakeholders, clinicians and trust and CCG managers in June last year where we discussed the implications of the national service specification and how we might take this forward locally.

‘Since then, there have been two further meetings involving the surgeons, NHS trust managers and NHS commissioners to develop plans.’

The News ran its Keep it at QA, to ensure vascular surgeons remained at Queen Alexandra Hospital.

An option had been to move them to Southampton.

Mrs Fleming added: ‘Informal meetings regularly take place between surgeons and interventional radiologists at University Hospital

Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, and these have been extremely helpful in moving things forwards.

‘Both provider trusts and commissioners have been regularly updating the health, overview and scrutiny committees regarding progress. Most recently there has been a focus on progress in developing a joint rota between Portsmouth and Southampton, which everyone agrees must be a top priority.’