Fears health services would struggle with Welborne impact

A protest was held this week against the ''Welborne development. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (142958-2)

A protest was held this week against the ''Welborne development. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (142958-2)

Portsmouth Guildhall. Photo: Malcolm Wells

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CONCERNS have been raised over the impact a new town would have on health services in the area.

At an independent inquiry into the Welborne development near Fareham, councillors and residents discussed the impact on Queen Alexandra Hospital and doctors surgeries.

Councillor Pam Bryant, who represents the Fareham north ward, said: ‘This is a great problem in the area. It’s very difficult getting doctors appointments. People often have to wait two or three weeks.

‘That’s a national thing but nevertheless it’s not going to help if we get residents from Welborne who need to get doctors appointments in Fareham or possibly towards Wickham.

‘As far as QA is concerned their accident and emergency department is absolutely outstretched.’

But Peter Home, who is part of the Welborne team at Fareham Borough Council, said: ‘The importance to the community of healthcare convinced the council that it is absolutely critical that there are healthcare facilities on the Welborne site.

‘We are looking at quite a significant facility there which can be used in a flexible way.’

Mr Home added that Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs QA, was consulted on the issue, alongside other public bodies.

He added: ‘There is only so much the council can do in terms of highlighting to these bodies about what is coming and asking what provision the council should be making in terms of healthcare.

‘The council feels it’s done everything it can to reach out to these different bodies.’

Inspector David Hogger has asked the council to provide a full table of who has been consulted on the healthcare services, along with the responses.

The inquiry began on Wednesday and is due to run until Thursday next week.

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