CAMPAIGNERS have demanded a new A&E department is built to ease pressure on Queen Alexandra Hospital.
Gosport Labour party wants to see a new site created to look after residents both in the town and in Fareham.
But Gosport’s MP has poured cold water on the idea, saying that it has not been thought through and is just ‘attention-grabbing’.
Labour Party members were outside Gosport War Memorial Hospital in Bury Road at the weekend, talking to patients and visitors about the party’s plans.
Party secretary and 2017 general election candidate Alan Durrant said: ‘We had a lot of people coming to speak to us, who spoke of the need for better community health services, mental health care and a properly-funded A&E centre in Gosport. It is important to Gosport residents that they have an A&E department – they are taking notice of the problems that they face getting to QA.
‘The Queen Alexandra Hospital is doing a great job and the staff are magnificent, but Gosport residents deserve to have emergency treatment before that first hour lapses and that can only come by having an A&E near to us.’
According to Mr Durrant, the ideal site for a new A&E would be near Daedalus, where it could also benefit Fareham.
He said: ‘Daedalus would be my favourite spot for an A&E because that’s the best place to help the most people.
‘A central A&E centre would also cover Stubbington, Titchfield and Fareham and would take a large part of the pressure from Queen Alexandra Hospital.’
There was a long campaign to prevent the Royal Hospital, Haslar, in Gosport from closing, but it shut its doors in 2009. While many said it was needed for Gosport, it did not have an A&E.
Gosport Tory MP Caroline Dinenage is not convinced by calls for a new A&E.
She said: ‘You need a full hospital around the A&E – it cannot be a standalone facility, so I don’t think this has been thought through.
‘Without specialist facilities around it, an A&E cannot do more than the minor injuries unit we already have at the War Memorial Hospital. Every penny of healthcare resources is put into QA.’
According to the MP, the risk presented by emergencies has been alleviated by a change in ambulance strategy.
She said: ‘We now have ambulances stationed throughout the peninsula, which is why response times have gone down. It is a problem because we’re a long way from QA or Southampton General Hospital, but short of building an entire hospital – which isn’t financially viable – you couldn’t have an A&E built. It seems like a poorly thought through attention grabbing idea, that would not work without the facilities in place around it.’