PRESSURE is ramping up on government to provide funding for a major redevelopment of A&E at Queen Alexandra Hospital.
Extensive work is needed to improve the facility – branded ‘not fit for purpose’.
On busy days up to 400 patients pour through the dfoors at the 1979-built A&E – up from 240 in 2010.
Now MP Penny Mordaunt, aid secretary, has notched up the pressure on the Department of Health and Social Care by meeting with fellow cabinet minister, health secretary Matt Hancock.
Ms Mordaunt, who represents Portsmouth North, met with Mr Hancock and his team to make the case for QA.
Competing bids are dividing the attention of health officials who will make the funding decision.
It comes after Ms Mordaunt, Portsmouth South’s Stephen Morgan and Havant MP Alan Mak wrote to Mr Hancock.
In a statement, Ms Mordaunt said: ‘The QA is making great strides in improving care and in working more effectively with the wider health community, but A&E remains their most challenging issue.
‘We need to grip this and I think it is only through these redevelopment plans can they create an environment which will give all patients the quality of care and experience they should receive, even at a time with very high volume.’
A health watchdog found the A&E was frequently crowded with patients spending too much time there.
The hospital has made improvements, including in the paediatric emergency department, but the the Care Quality Commission rated the A&E as requires improvement overall.
Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs QA, was handed £2.8m from Department of Health and Social Care’s winter capital fund.
That cash helped prepare the hospital for winter, when admissions increase, putting extra starin on medics.
A July bid to the department is still being assessed by officials, including those from NHS Improvement and NHS England.
Dr John Knighton, medical director at QA Hospital, said the trust welcomes the support from Ms Mordaunt.
He said: ‘Redeveloping the emergency department will require significant capital investment. However we believe the redevelopment is vital in helping to further improve the experience of patients using the department and of our staff who work there.’