Councillors voice anger over plans to move Queen Alexandra Hospital surgeons

CONCERNED Councillor Bob Forder
CONCERNED Councillor Bob Forder

Music session gets QA Hospital patients out of beds

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LOSING vascular services at Queen Alexandra Hospital cannot be allowed to happen.

That is the message from members of Gosport Borough Council who have voted unanimously to take a stand.

Councillor Bob Forder put forward a motion, backed by leader Cllr Mark Hook, that ‘vigorously opposes’ a report calling for the surgery to be focused in Southampton.

It also criticised the make-up of the panel that made the recommendation.

Cllr Forder said: ‘Vascular surgery is an important service to other specialisms including renal, cancer, stroke and diabetes.

‘QA is a national centre for some of these and provides an outstanding service.

‘Clearly if the viability of the renal, cancer, stroke and diabetes services is undermined then the hospital will become degraded and its finances thrown in jeopardy.

‘So much for the “world class super-hospital” Gosport was promised when Haslar Hospital closed.’

Cllr Peter Edgar said when Haslar closed it was agreed specialist services would be split between QA and Southampton General Hospital.

‘It was always said there would be a fair and equitable sharing of key specialities between the two super-hospitals,’ he said.

‘In reality it has appeared that Southampton has become almost predatory in trying to take over many of the services that have been delivered at QA.’

Labour’s Cllr June Cully, said the move would be ‘illogical and dangerous.’

Labour leader Cllr Wright proposed an amendment, which was passed, saying that vascular surgery should stay at QA to benefit people in Gosport and south-east Hampshire.

The council’s vote on December 18 comes after a similar motion was passed at Portsmouth City Council.

As reported, the Wessex Area Team, which pays for the service, brought together the Wessex Clinical Senate.

National guidelines recommend fewer centres with more expertise so the NHS is looking to restructure.

The senate’s report seemed to indicate vascular services are better placed in Southampton.

But that has been criticised and just one member of the 18-person panel was based in Portsmouth, while the majority have links with Southampton.

Wessex stresses the panel is independent and does not represent the view of a senate member’s organisation.