We should all be pleased at u-turn over surgeons

Child refugees: more cash is needed from the government

COMMENT: Government needs to dig deep to find extra cash

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We’re delighted that common sense has prevailed and that the battle to keep vascular surgeons in Portsmouth has been won.

Few were expecting such a dramatic u-turn, but we know that the many thousands of people who got behind our campaign from the start will be relieved to hear it has happened.

Moving specialist vein surgeons from Queen Alexandra Hospital to Southampton always ran the risk of leaving people in this city dangerously exposed to something going wrong.

And when you’re talking about emergency procedures that could mean the difference between life and death, that simply isn’t right, or acceptable.

This campaign has shone a light on the vital work being done every day by the dedicated team at QA.

The simple truth is that we could ill-afford to lose their expertise.

The fact that the two hospitals couldn’t see a way to make this work has forced the primary care trusts involved to think again.

But we shouldn’t underestimate the effect that the overwhelming swell of opposition played to get this proposal scrapped.

We’re proud that so many of our readers got behind our campaign.

From day one you were prepared to put your name to a letter calling on the PCTs to ‘Keep it at QA’ and we thank you for your support.

It’s also right that we should give credit where credit is due and praise the PCTs for taking your vocal objection and criticism on board.

As Syd Rapson quite rightly says, this victory is an immensely powerful message to the NHS as a whole.

At a time when budgets are under pressure, those responsible for making decisions in the future must know that the public scrutiny will never stop.

Our health service really is something special and deserves to be safeguarded.

When bean counters think they spot a way to save money, they now know that we’re all watching.

And, more importantly, that there are people who are prepared to stand up and say: ‘This is wrong’.