Queen Alexandra Hospital says it is taking on more vascular patients from Chichester

QA Hospital. Picture: Will Caddy

Hospital boss warns of ‘great pressure’ at Portsmouth A&E in busiest weekend before Christmas

  • Commissioners NHS England Wessex wants Southampton to become a hub for the specialist surgery
  • QA believes it can be a hub too and take on patients from Chichester
  • Meetings to be held next month
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SURGEONS from Portsmouth are having to step in and help out Chichester vascular patients – even though they should be treated in Brighton.

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Queen Alexandra Hospital, says it is treating an increasing number of vascular patients from West Sussex.

The workload that we do for the Chichester area residents is increasing month-on-month

Peter Mellor, director of corporate affairs and business development

NHS England Wessex wants to move some vascular surgery over to Southampton, making it a hub.

In a separate decision made by another NHS trust, it was decided Brighton would also be a vascular hub – meaning patients in the Chichester area are having to travel further for treatment.

Peter Mellor, PHT’s director of corporate affairs and business development, said that QA helping Chichester patients shows why Portsmouth should also be a vascular hub.

He said: ‘The workload that we do for the Chichester area residents is increasing month-on-month.

‘We provide our consultants for out-patient clinics at Chichester, and if problems are picked up then they are treated in Portsmouth.

‘Independent comments made to us have been that there should be a hub in Southampton, in Portsmouth and Brighton. For us we could take patients from Chichester, right up to Arundel.’

The Vascular Society carried out a review of services along the south coast.

It reported: ‘Chichester should be considered in this present review.

‘Concerns were raised about the safety of current vascular support to Chichester.

‘These concerns should be investigated and if confirmed then patient safety issues may need to be addressed as a matter of urgency.’

However the review said a hub at Portsmouth may only work for the short term.

Councillor Margaret Evans, chairman of a health scrutiny committee in West Sussex, said: ‘If there are any plans to change services in Hampshire/Portsmouth area that will have an impact on West Sussex, we will need to be consulted by the relevant NHS organisation.

‘The committee also take very seriously the patient experience and outcome, so will be following up with NHS England South East to ensure that vascular services for Chichester-area residents are being monitored.’

NHS Wessex will be holding meetings with council committees next month.