Health chiefs need to get a grip and stop dithering

Rick Jackson believes Big Ben's bongs should not be silenced

RICK JACKSON: Our las total eclipse was typically British – cloudy

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What a way to run a health service.

No, let’s rephrase that because quite clearly when it comes to vital vascular services in Portsmouth the future of the system is not being ‘run’ at all.

And let us remind the suits sitting on their hands over this crucial issue that it is our health service, the one we all pay for.

It is hardly surprising the NHS is apparently on the cusp of going bust with farces such as this going on.

It has now taken a staggering 1,627 days for officialdom to make a decision about the future of the service and whether it remains at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, or becomes Southampton-based.

That is four years of reviews, option-considering, discussions and promises of consultations and meetings.

We think it’s pathetic and you will probably agree.

If the mandarins running this branch of the NHS were in the private sector they would have been shown the door years ago.

There, a verdict would have been reached within three months whether the ‘right’ one or not.

By ‘right’ we mean a regional general hospital of Queen Alexandra’s standing should retain such life-saving surgery – a hospital on the doorstep of most who need it, not one which would mean a tremulous journey along the M27.

Over the years we have made a strong case for retention. As have thousands of readers.

Now politicians are quite rightly joining us in saying enough is enough.

Veteran Gosport councillor Peter Edgar probably has the most trenchant view. If, for these four long years, the service has worked well in both cities, then surely the question has been answered? Leave it in both, move on and stop dithering.