There is no doubt that the response to our Keep it at QA campaign has been huge. And if proof were needed, it came with confirmation from health officials last week that they have received more than 6,000 responses calling for specialist surgeons to stay in Portsmouth.
Our call to arms came ahead of the six-week engagement process which has demonstrated vividly the depth of feeling in the Portsmouth area about the issue.
Altogether 6,184 people signed our Keep it at QA letter, which opposes the plans to move vascular surgeons out of Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, to Southampton.
We believe that it is imperative that a full three-month consultation is held.
Regional health officials haven’t exactly rushed to announce that degree of input by the public (the very people, of course, who will be affected and jeopardised by any move of surgeons away from the city).
But we hope that the force of our campaign argument – and the huge response from readers – will persuade them to do the right thing. Certainly, that is more likely now that the pressure is on. Former Portsmouth North MP Syd Rapson, a member of QA’s board of governors, said: ‘Without The News we wouldn’t be at this stage.
‘The response it generated with its campaign is amazing, especially as it isn’t an issue that affects everyone and deals with very complicated matters.’
Thank you to all the many readers who have supported the campaign so far.
We shall of course continue to regularly report on the progress of the fight and I hope that it will not be long before we are not only revealing the date of a full consultation but in the wake of that, celebrating a victory for common sense.