Keeping it local

Lister v QE2? Hemel v Watford? (Cancer - Mount Vernon or Addenbrookes). Why does this question even need asking? The county that we live in is a growing, rich county, why are we talking about consolidation or closure? Hertfordshire – a good sized county,

Lister v QE2? Hemel v Watford? (Cancer - Mount Vernon or Addenbrookes).

Why does this question even need asking? The county that we live in is a growing, rich county, why are we talking about consolidation or closure?

Hertfordshire - a good sized county, good employment rates, high level of home ownership, commuter belt, busy road network (especially in peak hours), planned expansion (housing, industry and population)

Travel times - Stevenage to WGC in rush hour 30 to 45 minutes (this excludes bad days - eg accident on the two lane stretch of the A1). Travel times - Hemel to Watford in rush hour 45 to 60 minutes (this excluded bad days - eg Watford football club at home)


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Consolidation or creation of specialist centres makes good economic and practical sense - renal, ENT, heart, cancer etc - (but not necessarily for the patient, if the treatment required is daily and you are no longer fit to or capable of driving). But accident and emergency, maternity, day surgery, pathology, x-ray and out-patient type services need and must be provided locally, and by locally I do not mean within a 15-mile radius.

Local means I can get there on my own, come rain or shine by bus, taxi, foot, bike, car without having to take a half day off work and pack a lunch and flask of coffee.

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When you or loved ones are ill, kids still have to be taken to and picked up from school, work has to be attended and houses/lives still need to be run. Old ladies are still worried about going out in the dark. They still feel vulnerable in taxis and on buses especially when visiting unfamiliar places - keep it local.

Let us think about our county, let's demand our fair share of financial allocation, let's actually have an adult debate that looks at today and tomorrow and what is truly required - 10,000 new homes in Stevenage, 4,000 new homes in Hemel, expansion of Luton and maybe Stanstead airports, the Olympic regeneration - these all will bring people to our county - can it cope?

Whatever happened to political debate based on growth and future goals.

DAVID SHEPPARD, Address supplied

* Please find attached my experience and comments concerning our NHS.

My next-door neighbour has suffered from weight loss and stomach pains and to get the quickest diagnosis was offered the choice of three hospitals. The easiest to reach was the Luton and Dunstable. The neighbour is over 70 years of age and does not own a car. I agreed to take her to the hospital in Dunstable for the following reasons:

1. If she was to go by bus this would require three bus changes and heaven knows how long because the time taken depends on the various connections of the bus companies. I personally would not guarantee arriving on time for any appointment using this form of transport.

2. We contacted a local taxi firm and asked them to quote us the price of a return journey to the hospital and back and they quoted £60

3. We have not checked rail pricing but feel that this mode of transport would suffer from the shortcomings outlined in one.

Since this diagnosis started we have made five journeys to the Luton and Dunstable and expect to make at least two more in the immediate future.

Surely it makes sense to have the hospitals near to the patients if for no other reason than to alleviate the global warming which must be aggravated by people like us that have to make journeys to get a condition diagnosed.

My wife and I are also retired and it causes us concern that when we are past the age of driving a car, we will not have a local hospital just when we need it, particularly the A&E unit.

If a petition is to be raised supporting Lister Hospita, I, my wife and everyone in our close would like to sign it! For this reason I have included my address below.

ALWYN EVANS, Chertsey Rise, Stevenage

* Regarding the Lister Hospital, further to your recent front page article regarding the above site, these details, together with the increasing population that we are led to expect to the west of Stevenage, seems to mean that any proposed new future hospital developments should be at the Lister.

A GEORGE, Vaughan Road, Stotfold

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