Fareham council leader says NHS has a duty to provide healthcare even when more houses are built

THE NHS has a duty to provide healthcare to everyone in Queen Alexandra Hospital's catchment area, including new houses.

Thursday, 27th October 2016, 6:28 am
Updated Thursday, 27th October 2016, 5:23 pm
Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, Portsmouth

That is the message from the leader of Fareham Borough Council Sean Woodward as fears have emerged that more homes in and around Portsmouth could put extra pressure on QA Hospital.

In Fareham alone, at least 6,000 new homes are planned at new town Welborne.

But Cllr Woodward said he wants to see more hospital facilities in Fareham to help ease demand on the A&E department, in Cosham, Portsmouth.

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He said: ‘The health authority has a duty to provide.

‘Like the education authority has to provide schools, the health authority has a duty to provide healthcare.

‘They were consulted about Welborne as part of the public consultations.

‘But clearly the pressure they are under is a concern.’

Cllr Woodward added he would like to see more hospital facilities built at Fareham Community Hospital to serve the town.

‘In Fareham we have seen a lot of hospitals closing,’ he said.

‘Fareham Community Hospital is probably the most under-used, under-utilised health facility in the south.

‘Half the hospital isn’t used and there is space about the same size of the site right next to it which I want to see used for expansion.

‘I want to see it expanded with a minor-injury treatment centre, beds for maternity and beds for elderly care.

‘It will be very, very useful to help ease demand on QA Hospital. A&E is supposed to be for absolutely life-threatening injuries. If people just used it for that, then the emergency department would be able to cope.’

As reported yesterday in The News, MPs met bosses at QA Hospital to see what could be done to help the emergency department.

It comes as the hospital was recently placed on black alert and had ambulances queuing outside for hours.