Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, has condemned the decision to postpone the independent review of the closure of maternity services at Hemel Hempstead Hospital until January. The review will commence on 7th January and will not report until 18th January ? a week before the transfer to Watford is to be completed.
Peter Lilley said:
“This delay makes nonsense of the whole review. By the time Lord Hunt makes his recommendations, which are unlikely to reverse the ?temporary? closure at Hemel, the transfer to Watford will almost be complete. It appears that the decision to hold a review, which was greeted with cautious optimism last month, was nothing more than a smoke screen.
“Last week I wrote to Lord Hunt urging him to examine the various problems associated with the move to Watford. Regrettably, I have learnt that the Health Secretary has failed to respond to St Albans District Council?s repeated request to look into the matter.
“The delay to Lord Hunt?s review is the final straw. The Government has already effectively endorsed the closure of Hemel by refusing to give any extra investment to these services. I fear that the Government is prepared to ride roughshod over any attempt to properly consider the future of maternity and children?s services in West Hertfordshire.