Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    “Figures released last week are bound to give rise to concern about the quality of some aspects of health care at Hemel Hempstead Hospital.? said Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden. “It is important that those concerns are put to rest either by explaining why the figures are out of line with the national average or by taking urgent action to improve the quality of care. I am particularly concerned about the quality of emergency care and orthopaedic treatment at Hemel Hempstead hospital.

    “It is important to pay tribute to all local NHS staff who have provided high quality care in most areas of treatment in line with or better than national standards ? particularly those who have show improvements.

    “The QEII Hospital in East Herts merits particular praise for a steady and marked reduction in the number of deaths within 30 days of surgery following emergency admission. Sadly, all the other four local hospitals have shown a deterioration in this measure since the last election. Most worrying is Hemel Hempstead which had the poorest record three years ago, but has shown a further deterioration in each year since then.

    “The then St Albans and Hemel Hempstead NHS Trust also shows one of the worst records nationally for death following emergency treatment for hip fracture ? 50% higher than the national average.

    “I accept that there can be reassuring reasons for such figures ? for example hospitals treating the most severe cases may have high death rates despite offering the best possible care. If so, we need to know. If not, we need action.

    “I discussed these issues with local GPs at the meeting in Harpenden to discuss the planning Harpenden/St Albans Primary Care Trust. I hope they will use their clout to improve clinical standards.

    “I have also written to Rosie Sanderson, the Chairman of the recently formed West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust (amalgamating Mount Vernon & Watford and St Albans & Hemel Hempstead NHS Trusts), seeking an explanation and action.?