KENNETH Mulford knows only too well how important the vascular service at Queen Alexandra Hospital is.
The 83-year-old was in agony earlier this year and could barely walk because of an aneurysm and poor circulation in his left leg.
But vascular surgery – which repairs blood vessels – at QA last month solved his problems and the pain has since gone away. Now Mr Mulford is backing our Keep it at QA campaign to stop regional health bosses moving vascular surgeons from QA to Southampton General Hospital.
NHS South Central is considering moving the expert surgeons to Southampton as part of plans to centralise care.
But it would mean patients like Mr Mulford having to travel further for treatment and check-ups – and emergency patients facing a longer journey to get potentially life-saving care.
Mr Mulford, of Queensway, Hayling Island, said: ‘I think it’s terrible they’re thinking about doing this. I cannot understand it at all.
‘We’ve got a fantastic vascular service at QA and incredible surgeons, why would they be looking to move them?
‘I wouldn’t have wanted to go to Southampton for my surgery. It’s a lot further to have to go. Why when we have a new hospital would they look at taking services away from it?
‘And what about emergency cases? My aneurysm could have burst and I wouldn’t have wanted to travel to Southampton.’
‘We’ve got to keep the vascular surgeons at QA.’
Mr Mulford is now urging as many readers as possible to back the campaign to keep vascular surgery at QA.
NHS South Central says no decisions have yet been made but it will launch a consultation in the summer.
In preparation for this we are inviting people to write in to us with their comments, which we will then forward to the regional health authority.
To contact us email firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Keep it at QA, Editorial, The News, The News Centre, Hilsea, Portsmouth, PO2 9SX. If you would like to speak to a reporter call (023) 92 622 169.