A REVIEW has found vascular surgery should be centralised in Southampton – and not Portsmouth.
That’s the conclusion from the Vascular Society of Great Britain and Ireland after its president and vice-president carried out a review.
They visited Queen Alexandra Hospital and Southampton General Hospital, which both carry out the specialist vein surgery, last month.
We don’t want this to be is the start of other services moving out of PortsmouthCouncillor Peter Edgar
The society reported its findings to NHS England Wessex, which pays for the service in south-east Hampshire. This included the society finding ‘a range of issues at both hospitals that need addressing to ensure high quality sustainable services in the future.’
It also said change is needed to ensure services comply with the standards set by the society and to provide seven-day cover.
The report goes on to say the ‘best way of securing resilient services would be the creation of a southern Hampshire network of vascular services with Southampton operating as the single hub for the county and the Isle of Wight’.
This has caused worry among some politicians, and follows the high-profile campaign run by The News to keep vascular surgeons in Portsmouth.
Wessex said it will now work with senior surgeons from both sites to develop a detailed proposal for the plan.
Dr Liz Mearns, medical director for Wessex, said: ‘We want to end the uncertainty for patients and for staff and have asked surgeons and senior managers to work together to develop detailed options for the future of vascular services across south Hampshire and the Isle of Wight based on the recommendations.
‘The detail of these options needs to be developed by surgeons working together and we will then be in a position to consult in a meaningful way with patients and the public about how any proposed changes will impact on them.’
Once this business case has been outlined, it will be reported back to the four health, overview and scrutiny panels (Hosp), in Portsmouth, Southampton, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
If any of these panels feel the case will cause a significant change of services, then a three-month consultation will be held.
Gosport councillor Peter Edgar sits on the Portsmouth panel and said: ‘We need to know what has led to this recommendation, and if it were to happen, then what would the impact be on other services such as renal and cancer.
‘We don’t want this to be is the start of other services moving out of Portsmouth.’
Cllr John Ferrett, the chairman of the Hosp in Portsmouth, said: ‘It’s disappointing that it has taken so long.
‘We understood a reconsideration was being had and had hoped that Portsmouth would keep its service.’
Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond: ‘This is an issue that has a personal dimension as my father died of an aortic aneurism and I am clearly very concerned that these services could be moving from Portsmouth.
‘However, I also recognise that the Vascular Society is an eminent organisation and that a centre of excellence could have some merit.
‘Everyone now has to look closely at what options NHS England and the surgeons come up with and I will be meeting with them very soon to get a clear picture of the issues and what they propose.’
Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs QA, said it had not seen the report.
Peter Mellor, director of corporate affairs for PHT, said: ‘It would be inappropriate for us to comment until we have had sight of the full report and have had time to carefully consider its recommendations.’