Dame Caroline Dinenage MP, met the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the Rt Hon Victoria Atkins MP, this week to bring attention to concerns about Queen Alexandra Hospital.
The Gosport MP and former Health Minister raised the Critical incidents that have been reported three times in the last three months due to demand for patient care significantly outstripping capacity. In the event of a critical incident, patients who do not fall in the urgent treatment category are redirected to alternative health services.
Despite the fact that a new A&E Department is in construction, Queen Alexandra Hospital has experienced a raft of issues recently, such as low staffing numbers, slow systems, increased ambulance waiting times, and financial difficulties.
NHS data indicates that QA ambulance handover times are the sixth longest in England whilst Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust recently announced a planned deficit of £32.2 million for 2023/24, up from £9.1 million in 2022/23, and representing -4% of income.
On 6 September 2023, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust was served with an enforcement notice for failures of financial governance, “declining productivity”, and “material under delivery” of efficiency plans.
As MP for Gosport, one of Caroline’s main priorities is improving patient care. In 2018, she helped to secure £58.3m of Government investment for the construction of a brand-new Emergency Department at QA that will upgrade facilities and increase overall capacity.
Commenting after the meeting, Caroline said:
“I would like to thank the Secretary of State for taking an active interest in the situation at Queen Alexandra Hospital. I believe that timely access to treatment should be available to all and therefore hope that we will see specific steps taken by the Government to support the QA Hospital and improve waiting times and patient outcomes for my constituents.”