It is disappointing that the future of specialist vein services at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham is still not secure.
The News launched one of its biggest ever health campaigns urging people to respond to a three-month public consultation after three options were drawn up in August 2011.
At that time, the now-defunct primary care trust cluster Ship, which covered Southampton and Portsmouth, outlined plans to either move surgery from QA to Southampton, split services between the cities or share them between Portsmouth and Chichester.
More than 6,000 people signed our Keep It At QA letter in 2012, which showed the strength of feeling about the proposals among readers and forced Ship to rethink its plans.
We were convinced that it was vital for vascular services to stay at QA then – and that view remains.
That conviction is backed by medical experts at Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust which runs QA.
Some have raised concerns about the impact of any potential decision to move the services out of the city.
And now the need for you to speak out is more vital than ever.
It could make the difference between the service being secured in Portsmouth – or being moved out of the city altogether.
The latter option could see patients needing vascular surgery having to travel along the busy M27 motorway 20 miles for treatment in Southampton.
The very fact that it has been flagged as a possible ‘significant change’ for the area by members of Portsmouth City Council’s Health, Overview and Scrutiny Panel means a three-month public consultation on the four options for the future of vascular surgery in the area that are on the table must now be held.
It is due to start on May 26.
We hope as may of you of possible will seize the opportunity to have your say – in the hope of persuading commissioners from the Wessex Area Team to take the decision to keep vascular services at QA.