Delay gives the chance for a better surgeons plan, says Portsmouth health boss


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A HEALTH boss has welcomed a delay into plans to review the future of surgeons at Queen Alexandra Hospital.

Councillor Peter Eddis, chairman of Portsmouth City Council’s health and scrutiny panel, says the NHS did not provide enough detail on how vascular services would be provided and need to be improved.

A three-month consultation to decide whether specialist vein surgeons were to remain in the city or move to Southampton was due to be launched this week.

But now the primary care trust cluster Ship, which covers Southampton, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth, says it needs more time to finalise the document.

Cllr Eddis said: ‘We were concerned that the options weren’t explained as clearly as they could have been.’

Initial plans had three options – the first to move all vascular surgeons to Southampton, while a second was to split them with either Southampton or Chichester.

Since then Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the Cosham hospital, has put together a ‘stand-alone’ model keeping surgeons in Portsmouth.

This option, along with a network between Portsmouth and Southampton, are likely to be the two options explored in the document.

‘We’re pleased they decided to delay it,’ added Cllr Eddis.

‘We are talking about the future of vascular surgery for the next 20 years and it’s important to get it right than save on a few weeks of the consultation.

‘This is a big, serious issue that is worth a lot more time.

‘We need to make sure people get the right information so they can make a fully informed decision.’

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage is concerned her constituents would lose out too.

She said: ‘Ship and the expert clinicians need to think very carefully about this.

‘The people of Gosport have already suffered the loss of one hospital when Haslar closed.

‘Moving these surgeons would be detrimental to so many people – including the Gosport population.’