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.

# More than 13,000 people have signed up to save Lister's A&E.

You can still sign the petition by:

# Going online to The Comet's Lister link at: www.thecomet.net

# Popping into The Comet's office at Bank House, Primett Road, Stevenage, SG1 3EE and signing a form in our reception area.

# If any business or individual would like to help collect signatures, please contact The Comet on 01438 866200 for a supply of petition forms.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Comet. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the The Comet