Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Rosie Winterton, Minister of State at the Department of Health, yesterday refused to confirm that the new cancer unit promised for Hertfordshire at the last election was to go ahead.

    The Minister was responding to a parliamentary question by Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, on whether or not the planned new cancer unit was still to replace the Mount Vernon cancer centre.

    She also refused to say if the so called ?super hospital?, of which the cancer centre was to be a key component, would go ahead or not, despite the proposed ?super hospital? being a clear pledge by Labour to the people of Hertfordshire at the last election.

    Commenting afterwards Peter said, “It is clear that this government does not consider itself bound by the promises made at the last election as far as the promise to build a new super hospital and cancer unit are concerned.?



    1) The full text of the question and answer is reproduced from Hansard below:

    “Mr. Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden) (Con): Is it still intended to move the Mount Vernon cancer centre, which also serves the people of Hendon, to central Hertfordshire, as promised at the last election, or is it the case, as the local health trust now says, that it is precluded from including a cancer centre in the proposed new hospital in central Hertfordshire for financial reasons, if indeed such a hospital is ever to go ahead? Will the Minister clarify that?
    Ms Winterton: The East of England strategic health authority is reviewing acute hospital services in the east of England and the needs of cancer patients will, of course, be taken into account in that review. Any reconfiguration of cancer services will be in line with the NICE guidelines for improving outcomes, which are designed to improve the overall quality of care for cancer patients.”

    Hansard, Tuesday 25 October, Column 1374