A WINCHESTER man petitioning to keep the A&E open has labelled the consultation process as 'flawed'.

Philip Glassborow has teamed up with fellow Winchester resident Chantelle Cousins on a campaign to save Winchester’s A&E. More than 17,000 people have signed the petition.

Although Mr Glassborow, a writer, aged 73, of Bereweeke Road, believes hospital bosses have the right intentions he believes the consultation process for a new hospital is unfair with keeping the A&E at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital not even being listed as an option.

With the consultation ending on Sunday, March 17 Mr Glassborow is urging people to have their say.

READ MORE: Hampshire Hospitals leaders promote plans to combine some services

He said: “I admire all the people running the consultation and I think they’re trying to do their best for us but I feel the consultation is flawed. We’re not being given choices and that’s my main concern.

“The consultation questions baffling and poorly worded. A couple of friends of mine who work in health care couldn’t make sense of it.

Hampshire Chronicle: The consultation questionnaireThe consultation questionnaire (Image: Newsquest)

“When they run a survey it has to be objective. It should be a genuine consultation with the subject still in flux and not yet decided. But this has clearly been decided on and don’t think our calls for an A&E are being considered.

“My GP at Friarsgate hadn’t heard about it. If they haven’t heard that’s quite worrying because more people are going to be going to their doctors without an A&E. Most people I speak to still don’t know about this.

“The first meeting I went to was online and there were only six people as well as the 11 high ranking people from the NHS. It had been poorly publicised.

“People need to know about this, they might agree with the trust but they need to be able to share their opinion. We need more people to have their voices heard.

“A city the size of Winchester with our colleges and schools needs an A&E. With the Christmas market we get tourists coming from all over the world.

“They’re saying that about half the cases that go to A&E will still be seen by the urgent treatment centre but that’s still only half. It will be a huge strain on the ambulance service.

SEE ALSO: Winchester residents fear loss of A&E unit will be ‘disastrous’

“Losing our A&E would hollow out our hospital. It will be a hospital with no ill people – hip and knee replacements but nobody actually sick.

“It’s always so busy, it’s needed in our city. They would be downgrading our hospital. The A&E is the beating heart of it, when you take that away it tears the guts out of a place. It’s the engine of the hospital, keeping it on its toes and feeding into the wards. It would be a very sad day if it closed.

“I don’t believe they are giving a fair consultation, with keeping the A&E not even being an option on the agenda. It should be on the table.

“All three options are downgrading the maternity department too. So births that look like they will be uncomplicated if something goes terribly wrong it’s a long way to go."

Dr Lara Alloway, chief medical officer at the NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board said: “We are keen to hear from as many people as possible on how our proposals would impact them, and we are encouraging patients, local people, communities, and our staff to take part in the ongoing public consultation.

“It’s important to remember that a public consultation is not a vote or referendum. This is because we also have a duty to ensure that any proposals that we take forward will enable us to provide safer, higher quality care, with sustainable clinical services for the future, with sufficient specialist staff to run services well.

“We have exhaustively explored potential options to keep an emergency department at Winchester hospital. However, local and regional doctors strongly and collectively believe that an emergency department at both hospitals would not be clinically safe or sustainable.

“This is because, for example, we would have to continue to spread our consultant emergency doctors across two sites, meaning that consultants would be on site for fewer hours each week, than we would ideally have and not enough junior doctors to always provide the right level of cover.

“Under our new model of care, Winchester hospital would not have all the other clinical services that are needed for an emergency department, for example critical care and emergency surgery, so patients needing these services would have to be transferred to the new specialist acute hospital even if Winchester did have an emergency department.

“Under our proposals, the people of Winchester would be able to access safe, effective and timely care for all their urgent care needs at a 24/7 doctor led Urgent Treatment Centre proposed for the Winchester hospital site, and access specialist, rapid 24/7 emergency care at the new hospital site for situations which are life or limb threatening, typically those where someone has called 999 and the patient is brought to hospital by an ambulance.”

To read the petition go to you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-removal-of-winchester-emergency-dept-or-build-the-new-hospital-here?fbclid=IwAR3tbq2yhXgbBCVQSv_mNo7C-RtEzbwawBWH9esQyPnALsTAEwPfHClFIyk.

For more information or to respond to the consultation go to hampshiretogether.nhs.uk/.