Day hospital services to be reduced

PUBLISHED: 10:49 23 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:40 06 May 2010

An impression of the surgicentre

An impression of the surgicentre

DAY hospital services at Lister Hospital are to be cut from four days a week to just two. The hospital is currently used by about 200 people a week, mostly elderly, and provides services such as monitoring heart conditions and preventing repeat falls. Eas

DAY hospital services at Lister Hospital are to be cut from four days a week to just two.

The hospital is currently used by about 200 people a week, mostly elderly, and provides services such as monitoring heart conditions and preventing repeat falls.

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which has forecast a deficit of just over £22million by the end of the financial year, hopes that by cutting the days the service is available at two hospitals, including Lister, will save up to £60,000 a year.

The quality of service should be unaffected, claims the Trust, as patients can still use full services on the available two days and the 15 members of staff will not face redundancy.

Nick Carver, the Trust's chief executive, said: "By doing this we are able to save money without making people redundant or without cutting services quality. We will be able to make better use of facilities and staff."

Three options had been considered by the Trust - closing the Strathmore day hospital at Lister, closing the Ascot day hospital at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Welwyn GC, or retaining the services at both hospitals by reducing the days they are open.

It decided on the last option.

Mr Carver said: "This option has been developed with input from senior clinical support and is supported because all services currently provided can continue and in a more efficient way than has been in the past."

The Trust will be discussing its proposal with Herts County Council's overview and scrutiny committee, with reduction in services set to begin from early April.

Michael Downing, chairman of the county council's health scrutiny committee, said: "Any substantial changes in service provision will have to be notified to the council's scrutiny committee which will decide whether they need full consultation or whether they are in the interest of NHS users."

* The Trust has released an artist's impression of what the new surgicentre in the grounds of Lister Hospital, planned to be built by 2008, could look like.

It is a surgical unit dedicated solely to routine or planned operations, such as hip replacements.

It is hoped it will cut waiting lists and end the risk of scheduled operations being cancelled at the last minute to make way for emergency cases.

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