Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, has written to the Chief Executive of the Hertfordshire Partnership Trust, Bill Macintyre, to find out why 5 beds for the elderly mentally infirm have been closed at The Stewarts, Harpenden.

    Peter Lilley said: “The Chairman of the St Albans Branch of the Alzheimer‘s Society wrote to me to express her concerns – which I share – about these bed closures.

    “Whatever the reasons for the closure – whether financial or staffing problems – it has resulted in much less flexibility of staff; patients who are just settling in are having to be moved two or even three times to facilitate new admissions; and the re-location of these patients means extra travelling, extra costs and extra inconvenience for relatives, particularly the elderly.

    “The number of available beds for the elderly mentally infirm in the Harpenden area is already less than in some other parts of the County which makes further cuts in this area very hard to comprehend.

    “I shall be seeking assurances from both the Primary Care Trust and the Hertfordshire Partnership that these beds will re-open as soon as possible and that a) they will not be closed again and b) no further beds will be closed without a full consultation with the Consultant in charge – which I understand did not happen this time.”