QA needs to be given more support to fulfil its role

The A&E department at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham is at bursting point.

It’s no secret that the department is failing to cope with demand.

Over summer it looked like things were improving at the beleaguered hospital with waiting times coming down.

But it has only taken a bit of a drop in temperature in the past week and suddenly the A&E is back on black alert with hospitals queued up for hours waiting to discharge their patients.

And as we head into winter, the situation is only expected to worsen.

For those needing quick access to treatment, the epithet of ‘super’ hospital is looking more ironic by the day.

The News does not seek to bash the staff – we know that the doctors, nurses, technicians and myriad others work extremely hard to deliver the best care they can in trying conditions.

But with more than 10,000 new homes expected to be built in the hospital’s catchment area over the next decade or so – there will be a whole new town north of Fareham, and there are major plans in Havant borough – one has to ask how the current facilities are expected to cope?

There clearly needs to be a new hospital somewhere.

Reopening The Royal Hospital Haslar in Gosport would be a useful stopgap, but is unlikely to be a permanent solution. It would also be far from cheap to reactivate the mothballed hospital.

More funding and extra resources are obviously required. But realistically, and in the current political climate, how likely is that to happen?

The answer is probably not very.

Let us hope that Portmsouth North MP Penny Mordaunt’s as-yet undisclosed plan is a good one, as at the moment hopes for improving the diagnosis for QA are looking grim.