Referring to your article: "Lives at risk" fear over proposed A&E closure (December 14).

The chief executive of NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, Maggie MacIsaac, is quoted as saying: "These exciting proposals provide a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve hospital facilities."

How can closing our Winchester A&E department be described as exciting? Tragic, yes; misguided, certainly; but exciting? It is reminiscent of ‘Doublethink’ from Orwell’s 1984 - where the Ministry of Truth concerns itself with lies. 

To shut down an essential department providing - literally - a lifeline for a city. And also to downgrade the maternity provision. This is exciting?

Second, how can closing our A&E improve hospital facilities? To have no A&E department in a very busy city? With a rapidly growing population through housebuilding in Barton Farm and elsewhere. With a busy university, a prison, a large sixth-form college, the railway station nearby, shops and businesses, farming and agriculture. And many surrounding towns and villages which depend on Winchester’s hospital.

Ms MacIsaac is further quoted as saying that “the proposals have been designed with clinicians, with patients, and are based on clinical evidence and best practice.”

I would be very interested to know which clinicians locally, and more importantly which patients, have helped to design these proposals. 

How many patients would vote to close our A&E department and our maternity provision in Winchester?

Philip Glassborow,
Bereweeke Avenue,


Letter Editor's note: Whilst a consultant-lead A&E unit would close, the RHCH will retain an emergency treatment centre, which the trust says will deal with 60 per cent of the cases that go to A&E.

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