Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, continues to press for further information about the transfer of children?s and maternity services to Watford. In a written answer to Mr. Lilley, the Health Minister, Jacqui Smith, endorsed the ?temporary? changes but admitted that the move could be permanent.

    While describing the change to services, Ms Smith acknowledged that “permanent changes to acute children?s services? may result from a review of Hertfordshire children?s services.

    Peter Lilley said:

    “I am concerned that the Minister effectively endorses the ?temporary arrangement? planned for January even though it is still hotly contested locally.

    “Even more worrying is her open admission that the changes could become permanent changes in future following the review of Hertfordshire children?s services. This is clearly an attempt to soften the public up for a permanent loss of services from Hemel Hempstead.

    “We must redouble our efforts to ensure the outcome of planned reviews will restore children?s and maternity services to Hemel Hempstead or St. Albans so that mothers in Harpenden, Redbourn and the rest of the district have accessible services.?