Shadow health secretary visits city's hospitals to meet patients and staff

Jonathan Ashworth - web

Shadow secretary of state for health Jonathan Ashworth visited Southampton’s teaching hospitals this week to meet patients and staff and find out more about developments in vascular services.

The Labour MP for Leicester South was accompanied by councillor Simon Letts, leader of Southampton City Council, and was met on arrival by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust medical director Dr Derek Sandeman.

They were joined by consultant vascular surgeons Ian Nordon and Mike Phillips ahead of a tour of a vascular ward at Southampton General Hospital where Mr Ashworth met patients and clinicians.

They were then taken around a new state-of-the-art hybrid theatre which combines an operating theatre with an interventional radiology suite and is equipped with advanced medical imaging devices for use during minimally invasive procedures.

Vascular services treat a range of conditions that affect the arteries – the blood vessels that supply oxygen to the body – and veins, from minor conditions such as varicose veins to complex and emergency treatments for damaged, ruptured or blocked arteries.

During the visit, staff discussed the development of the Southern Hampshire Vascular Network, which saw vascular surgery move from the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth to Southampton General in April to create a centralised centre for vascular services across southern Hampshire with access to a specialist vascular team 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The network comprises of UHS as the main arterial centre, with Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust (Queen Alexandra Hospital), the Isle of Wight NHS Trust (St Mary’s Hospital) and Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (Royal Hampshire County Hospital) providing inpatient care after surgery along with outpatient and diagnostic services.

Mr Ashworth then met with UHS chief executive Fiona Dalton and her trust board team for a discussion around developments, progress and challenges across the trust and the wider NHS.

“We were pleased to be able to showcase some of our services to Mr Ashworth during his visit and discuss the developments in vascular surgery which are helping to provide a safer and more efficient service with better outcomes for patients from Southampton and across the network,” said Dr Sandeman.

Ms Dalton added: "The completion of the Southern Hampshire Vascular Network is a credit to all the hospitals involved and we have been particularly pleased with the smooth transition of surgery from Portsmouth, where our colleagues have worked extremely hard with us to develop a safer, stronger and more sustainable service for patients across the south."

Mr Ashworth said: “It was honour to visit Southampton General, where I had the opportunity to meet with patients and tour the vascular ward. I was very impressed with the fantastic staff, working tirelessly day in day out to deliver excellent care to patients.”  

Posted on Wednesday 8 November 2017