Pressure build on health secretary Jeremy Hunt to address Portsmouth hospital woes

PRESSURE is building on health secretary Jeremy Hunt to take action to address concerns over Queen Alexandra Hospital and the area's ambulance service.

Thursday, 10th March 2016, 6:00 am
Portsmouth City Council leader Cllr Donna Jones

Today city council leader Donna Jones has written to Mr Hunt appealing for the minister to step in.

Her action comes amid growing concerns over QA and the South Central Ambulance Service – both of which, she said, were stretched to dangerous levels.

The Tory leader said: ‘Yesterday I met Peter Mellor, director of corporate affairs and business development, to discuss my growing concerns over the situation and to inform him I would be writing to the secretary of state for health.’

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Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt

She added: ‘The substantial risk of death for very seriously ill people needing to be admitted to hospital is increasing beyond an acceptable level.’

Yesterday The News revealed that firefighters from Southsea ended up taking a man to the QA after waiting two hours for an ambulance that never came.

This was condemned by Hampshire Fire Brigades Union, which feared that lives would be at risk if action was not taken to fix the problems.

At QA, hospital staff are under increasing pressure to deal with a high volume of patients, causing delays for those waiting to be admitted to A&E.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt

The situation has worried MPs, who will be lobbying Mr Hunt to take action as well as speaking to health bosses at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the QA.

Fareham MP Suella Fernandes said: ‘These latest concerns add further urgency to the need for a proper solution to the pressure on emergency admissions at the QA.’

She, along with other MPs, will meeting the hospital trust next week.

‘I am hoping to get some reassurance that urgent action is being taken to resolve this worrying problem,’ she said

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt added efforts were being made to address the issue of ambulances being stuck outside hospital A&E departments waiting to admit patients.

Ms Mordaunt said she would also be speaking to the QA chief executive, Ursula Ward, to discuss the best way forward.