DOZENS of people in Havant joined the fight to keep vascular experts in Portsmouth.
Yesterday more than 50 waited patiently to sign our Keep it at QA letter, urging health bosses not to move vascular surgeons to Southampton from Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham.
NHS primary care trusts for the region are considering the move, which many in The Meridian Centre, West Street, Havant, labelled ‘ridiculous’.
A six-week engagement process by the NHS PCTs has already begun but The News is calling on the PCT cluster to hold a three-month formal consultation on the proposed move.
Gill Bojang, 42, of Froxfield Road, West Leigh, said: ‘I’ve never written in to a newspaper or taken part in a campaign before but I had to get involved in this because I feel so strongly about it.
‘It’s vitally important that all the surgeons we have should remain at the hospital.
‘We need surgeons at QA and we need surgeons at Southampton.
‘Basically, lives could be lost.’
Valerie Cotsworth, from Hayling Island has personal experience of why vascular surgery should stay at QA.
Mrs Cotsworth’s husband, David, 69, is one of those who will have to travel to Southampton if the service is moved.
The 67-year-old, of Woodgaston Lane, Hayling Island, said: ‘I feel grateful to the vascular surgeons because my husband had blood clots behind the knees and had to have the arteries taken out.
‘It was a few years ago now but that was at QA and they were so good to him.
‘I don’t think I could have coped driving to Southampton.
‘When someone is having major surgery, it’s a lot to cope with, let alone having to go so far away from home.
‘My husband goes back whenever there is a problem but, like other people in Havant and Hayling, it will be very difficult to get to an appointment at Southampton. It is a ridiculous idea.’
Readers in Fareham can sign the letter next Tuesday when our campaign hits the podium, in West Street, Fareham, from 11am to 2pm.