THE independent panel investigating the decision to close an end-of-life care ward is asking for the public to start sending in their views.
The investigation into Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust's decision to close the G5 ward for over-65s at Queen Alexandra Hospital has now started.
The Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) is carrying out the inquiry after being instructed to do so by the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley.
The panel now wants to hear from anyone who has a view on the G5 issue.
Dr Peter Barrett, chairman of the panel, said: 'The IRP, the independent expert on NHS service change, is carrying out a review to consider whether the closure of the G5 end-of-life care ward at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth enables the provision of safe, sustainable and accessible end-of-life care for the local population.
'The health secretary has asked for a full review following a referral from Portsmouth City Council's health overview and scrutiny panel.
'As part of our review, we would like to hear from all interested parties in Portsmouth, particularly those who have new evidence to offer or feel that their voice has not been heard, including patients, local residents, local authority representatives, interest groups, clinicians and other staff.'
Meanwhile, members of the Save G5 Campaign Group are to meet with hospital bosses next Monday to discuss G5.
The campaigners asked Ursula Ward, chief executive of the hospital trust, for the meeting, and while she will not be there, a host of top hospital managers will be.
The group are calling on the public to contact the IRP and have their say and keep adding to the petition to reopen G5.
Campaigner Will Purvis said: 'It is now more important than ever that people keep collecting signatures to show the IRP the strength of opposition to closing the G5 ward.'
To contact the IRP and have your say email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 045 4844.
The review will finish at the end of March. To download G5 petition forms click here