PEOPLE who fought to keep Royal Hospital Haslar open say it could have helped relieve the pressure at Queen Alexandra Hospital.
The former military hospital in Gosport closed in 2009 despite campaigners’ best efforts.
Haslar could have been used as a facility for the elderly and it was one of a number of proposals considered.Cllr Peter Edgar
Councillor Peter Edgar, who led the fight to save it, said plans were considered to turn it into a hospital for the elderly.
‘If you look at QA hospital, a lot of the reasons for delays in A&E are because the population is aging,’ he said.
‘More elderly people need care and they have to go to QA for it. Haslar could have been used as a facility for the elderly and it was one of a number of proposals considered.
‘It would be far too costly to reopen Haslar now as a hospital but it would have cost much less to have kept a small portion of it for elderly patients.’
As previously reported in The News, ambulances have been left queueing at QA Hospital waiting to transfer patients.
It is also spending thousands of pounds a day on bed-blocking.
A spokeswoman from Portsmouth NHS Hospital Trust, which runs the hospital, said its demographic means it sees more patients from South Central Ambulance Service than other areas.
She added that increasing numbers of frail and elderly patients needing urgent care has put a high demand on the emergency department.
Gosport resident Michael Richards thinks closing Haslar was wrong.
The 62-year-old said: ‘We should have looked ahead and realised population in this area would increase. Closing Haslar was a terrible decision and because of it, QA is suffering. It could have easily helped ease the pressure.’
Fellow resident, John Taylor added: ‘Haslar had the facilities, it had the location and could have helped people in Gosport and Fareham.
‘Now we have no choice but to go to QA when we already had suitable facilities on our doorstep.’