A decision on vascular services is long overdue

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It has now been five years that the axe has been hanging over the head of vascular services at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.

Five long years since a report first suggested moving all the vascular services for the region to Southampton General Hospital.

One can’t help but feel heels are being dragged somewhere along the line in reaching a resolution.

The News has fought hard for the service to be retained here – we launched our Keep It At QA campaign which saw thousands of our readers respond.

The potential knock-on effect to services at our city’s main hospital if vascular services are lost is troubling.

And there have been so many abortive consultations, meetings and reports published on the matter that the casual observer could be forgiven for losing track of the current state of play.

Given the latest report from NHS England Wessex, it seems the ultimate outcome is little clearer.

As Councillor Peter Edgar puts it: ‘This has not been Wessex’s finest hour in the way this has been handled over the last few years.’

In the meantime though there will be more public consultations. Obviously we want vascular services to remain here at QA, and we will continue to fight on for that result.

The latest recommendation appears to be for day surgery and minor cases to remain here in Portsmouth, with major cases going to Southampton.

But either way, staff and patients deserve to have an answer. Patient safety is paramount, and there are bound to be implications for jobs. Of course we want important decisions to be thoroughly scrutinised, but five years is a farcical amount of time to have to wait.