Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, today expressed concerns that the main proposal could mean downgrading the accident and emergency units, maternity departments and special care baby units at the two Hertfordshire?s hospitals serving his constituency. Following the publication of the new consultation document by Herts and Beds Strategic Health Authority, Mr. Lilley pointed to significant flaws in the proposals.
Peter Lilley said:
“While I welcome the plan to move the cancer centre from Mount Vernon to one of Hertfordshire?s hospitals, the Strategic Health Authority?s most favoured option seems to involve downgrading accident and emergency, maternity and special care baby units at both the Lister Hospital and Hemel Hempstead Hospital ? which serve most of my constituents.
“I shall vigorously support the retention of important services in hospitals readily accessible to my constituents. The loss of full A&E at Lister and Hemel would considerably increase travel times for the most serious cases. Loss of Maternity and special care baby unit at Hemel would confirm the worst fears we all had when their ?temporary? move to Watford was announced.
“The document seems to indicate that there will be no increase in capacity ? for example the total number of acute beds – in Hertfordshire?s hospitals. It is extraordinary that so much time, manpower and money is devoted to the reorganisation of local healthcare and yet so few resources find their way through to improving frontline services.?