Plans are on the cards to fix Portsmouth hospital’s bed-blocking crisis

Ambulances queuing outside QA hospital last month
Ambulances queuing outside QA hospital last month
Ann Reeves, centre, surrounded by families at the release of Gosport Independent Panel's report into deaths at Gosport War Memorial Hospital yesterday. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

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  • City MP meets with hospital bosses amid rising concerns over widespread delays for patients
  • Penny Mordaunt says hospital is keen to get support from people with a possible solution to the problem
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A PLAN of action has been agreed to stop Queen Alexandra Hospital’s ‘bed-blocking’ problems from escalating.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt met with hospital chiefs on Friday amid mounting concerns over delays faced by patients who have been left waiting for hours for treatment.

QA has agreed to meet with the people who have a possible solution to some of the bed-blocking issues they have, so we are setting this up

Penny Mordaunt, Portsmouth North MP

It comes after weeks of problems for the Cosham hospital, which last month was placed on ‘black alert’ and has seen ambulances queuing to deliver patients to its A&E department.

In recent weeks, The News has reported on people in the area being forced to wait hours for ambulances to arrive, while the A&E department at QA has been struggling to cope.

Now, a plan is in place to improve the situation at QA and relieve the pressure on the hospital’s over-stretched staff, including looking at ways of improving care for patients after they have been at QA.

Ms Mordaunt met with QA’s chief executive, Ursula Ward, to discuss a way forward, which would hopefully address the ‘bed-blocking’ concerns of how best to deal with patients and a growing elderly population.

Speaking of the discussions, the Tory MP said: ‘It was a good meeting.

‘QA has agreed to meet with the people who have a possible solution to some of the bed-blocking issues they have, so we are setting this up.’

Other remedies were also discussed during the meeting with hospital bosses.

The hospital has already set up a plan to improve the situation over the next three months, Ms Mordaunt added.

She said all the area’s MPs will be keeping a close watching brief on this as it develops.

It comes after Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones called on the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to step in and tackle the hospital’s problems.

The Tory boss sent a letter to the health minister, outlining her concerns, in which she described the crisis as ‘unacceptable’.

She has explained the city council is keen to support the hospital in achieving improvements.

Cllr Jones claimed the key to relieving pressure on QA’s staff was to construct a modern, accident & emergency facility to replace the Portsmouth site’s 60-year-old wing.