Spinal surgery is transferring from Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust (PHT) to University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS) in a move that aims to ensure a more sustainable service is provided to patients.
PHT provides spinal surgery to approximately 176 patients from the Portsmouth, Fareham, Gosport and south east Hampshire areas each year.
For a number of years PHT has had just one consultant providing this specialist surgery, despite attempts to recruit additional consultants into this speciality. While patients have been receiving the best possible care at QA, with only one specialist surgeon in post the service is unsustainable and some patients may have had to wait longer for treatment and/or surgery. Relocating the surgery to the Wessex Regional Spinal Unit at UHS where there is a team of spinal specialists, means patients will have shorter waits between appointments and surgery will take place sooner.
PHT will continue to provide a full emergency service, and only patients requiring surgery or specialist care will be transferred to UHS.
We have used national best practice guidance and have been working together with healthcare colleagues to determine the safest way to provide this service in the future. The conclusion reached is that the best patient outcomes would be achieved if the service, for both outpatients and inpatients, relocates from Queen Alexandra Hospital (QA) in Portsmouth to the Wessex Regional Spinal Unit at UHS. This unit already carries out complex spinal surgical work as well as paediatrics (children) and trauma surgery. We know that moving the service will have an impact on those who use it and have engaged with a number of local groups to understand what this change means for them and take their concerns in to account.
The service is due to transfer from PHT to UHS on 31 October 2018.
For more information about the changes to spinal surgery in southern Hampshire, please see the attached briefing document.