Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, has urged his constituents to fight the renewed threat to close Harpenden Memorial Hospital. Peter will be collecting signatures this Saturday in Harpenden as part of his campaign against cuts to our local NHS in general and the closure of The Red House in particular.

    Commenting on the new proposal to close the ward at Harpenden Memorial Hospital, Peter said: “The previous petition against the proposed closure of beds at the Harpenden Memorial Hospital forced the old PCT management to keep the Hospital open. But, as I warned at the time, this was only a temporary reprieve and there was a danger that the new all-Hertfordshire PCT would revive the plan.

    “I now learn that those fears were justified. Despite local GPs’ concerns that the closure and alternative care arrangements have serious clinical weaknesses, the PCT plans to vote on closure without further public consultation at its next meeting at 2.30 pm on Wednesday, the 29th November, at the Public Halls, Southdown Road, Harpenden.

    “I share the GPs’ concerns. In addition, the scheme on which this alternative care was based has not produced the financial savings that were claimed, and the cancellation of the promised super-hospital at Hatfield will increase the need for beds at Harpenden.

    “I urge people to write to Anne Walker, the Chief Executive of Hertfordshire Primary Care Trust to support the continued operation of the Hertfordshire Memorial Hospital.

    “I will be collecting signatures to defend local NHS services against the current cuts on the concourse outside Boots and Argos in Harpenden on Saturday morning, 25th November, and hope that as many people as possible will come along and put their names to this campaign. I also hope people will attend the meeting on the 29th to show their opposition to this ill-considered plan and the way local NHS management have attempted to steamroller it through.”