Council committee demands answers over vascular plan

Curtis Long, 27, of Southway, Gosport has been jailed for 58 months after he was caught in possession of �40k of class A drugs. PHOTO: Hampshire police

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COUNCILLORS have rounded on the primary care trust cluster in charge of the future of vascular surgery at Queen Alexandra Hospital.

Gosport Borough Council’s overview and scrutiny committee is investigating proposed changes to vascular services in the area.

At a town hall meeting last night, councillors talked about their progress so far and criticised primary care trust cluster Ship for its handling of the proposals.

An upcoming public consultation into vascular surgery is likely to explore two options.

One is for QA to become a vascular centre while the other ‘networking’ option would see surgeons being shared with Southampton.

The committee chairman, Cllr Bob Forder, said: ‘The thing that concerns us is that we aren’t just talking about the loss of one service from QA.

‘We are worried about an effective degradation at the hospital because vascular surgery contributes to so many of the other specialisms like renal, stroke and cancer.’

Cllr Forder said he was barred by Ship from attending a meeting of experts to hear them discuss their plans.

Cllr Peter Edgar, the town’s health spokesman, added: ‘It was the most awful public relations exercise on behalf of Ship in that they weren’t being open and transparent in their dealings.

‘The NHS is not a democratic organisation in the way we are here.’

As reported in The News, the long-awaited consultation into the plans was delayed yesterday. A document detailing how the service could be run was due to be published but Ship said it needs more time to finalise it.

Cllr Forder said more questions needed answering about the proposed networking solution. He said: ‘What about situations during emergency surgery when a vascular surgeon would be required?

‘Somebody is brought into the accident and emergency department at QA at 2am and you need a vascular surgeon.

‘The question was asked and there weren’t any answers.’

Councillors have met with Ship, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust and GPs in the town to discuss the plans.

The scrutiny committee will now recall representatives from Ship to another meeting in the coming months.