Deadline looms in decision on A&E at Lister
PUBLISHED: 10:33 01 March 2007 | UPDATED: 11:37 06 May 2010
THE fate of A&E services at Lister could be decided in less than two weeks. But the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust is keeping its cards close to its chest. An announcement was expected at a media briefing on Tuesday. But this has now been delayed
THE fate of A&E services at Lister could be decided in less than two weeks.
But the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust is keeping its cards close to its chest.
An announcement was expected at a media briefing on Tuesday. But this has now been delayed until March 13, following legal advice.
A spokesman for the Trust said lawyers had instructed them not to put information into the public domain before it has been reviewed by a specially-convened panel.
The Trust's spokesman said: "The clear message here is we're not hiding information or preventing people from accessing it, but we have to follow due process."
The panel, made up of representatives from the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, East and North Hertfordshire Primary Care Trust, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust and West Hertfordshire Primary Care Trust, will now make their recommendation.
This will then form the basis of a public consultation which will last for 13 weeks. According to a paper issued by the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust at Tuesday's media briefing: "No change is not an option. The status quo is not sustainable from either a clinical or financial standpoint.
"Senior doctors and nurses have been vocal in their concerns about the constraint that the current configuration of hospital services places upon them in their ability to care for patients. Without consolidation, their greatest fear is that services will actually become unsustainable and unsafe."
Chief executive of the Trust, Nick Carver, added: "If we do nothing we condemn the people of Hertfordshire to second class care."
The paper concluded that both hospital sites have strengths and weaknesses so the future of Lister's A&E still hangs very much in the balance.
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