MAJOR vascular surgery is no longer being carried out in Portsmouth, with the service now moved to Southampton.
Following the announcement, calls are being made to ensure the service remains safe for patients.
As previously reported in The News, it was agreed last year that all major arterial surgery would be performed at Southampton General Hospital rather than Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.
Councillor Luke Stubbs, Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for adult social care and public health, said: ‘The argument is that having a single, central team can lead to better clinical outcomes.
‘Clearly, moving vascular services to Southampton will have an impact on travel time for patients and visitors.
‘But if medical outcomes do improve, then it is justifiable.
‘It will be important for the health overview and scrutiny panel to keep an eye on it and make sure the promises made are being kept.’
The move comes as NHS England says research shows there are improved outcomes for patients treated in larger centres by specialist teams.
Moving the surgery is the last step in creating the Southern Hampshire Vascular Network.
As part of the scheme a vascular surgeon will be available in Portsmouth during weekdays in outpatients and on the wards. Other services will continue to be delivered locally, with patients receiving their pre-operative care and follow-ups at QA Hospital.
Vascular day surgery will also be continued at QA.
But all complex and emergency procedures will be carried out in Southampton.
Dr Vaughan Lewis, clinical director specialised commissioning for NHS England south, said: ‘This change ensures doctors with the right specialist skills are available in the right place to ensure sustainable, safe, high-quality vascular surgery.’