THE BATTLE has been won to keep vascular surgery in Portsmouth, The News can reveal.
Plans to move vascular surgeons out of the city have been dramatically dropped today after a News-led campaign to keep the service at Queen Alexandra Hospital was won.
A meeting of councillors on the Portsmouth City Council health overview and scrunity panel were told that plans were to be dropped because Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the QA in Cosham, and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust could not agree on a network model to share surgeons.
A proposal had been to share vascular surgeons across the two cities.
Debbie Fleming, chief executive of the SHIP Cluster - a primary care trust cluster which covers Portsmouth, Southampton, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, said ‘The trusts have been working very hard on achieving a network model but the trusts have not been able to reach an agreement at this time.
‘We are disappointed by that. We do not want to decommission both services - that would not be in the interests of local people and would cause disruption when we don’t have immediate safety concerns.
‘We are very content to maintain the current arrangement. We’ll be monitoring the outcome over the next 12 to 24 months.’
Responding to the news at the meeting Syd Rapson, a Queen Alexandra Hospital governor, said: ‘This was all madness. I hope the NHS will realise the public will not roll over and have its belly tickled.
‘You can no longer tell people what is going to happen in their best interests. This is a message to the NHS.
‘It’s been an experience to get involved in, this issue. And it’s been very time consuming.
‘Now we can get down to having a better future.’
Health officials will monitor the situation over the next 12 to 24 months and both trusts are being encouraged to continue talks to work towards a network model.