Delays will impact patient care at Lister

LISTER Hospital will lose �600,000 a month and delay care improvements for patients if government approval for its final stage of redevelopment is not given within days, the hospital’s chief exec said.

Nick Carver, of the East and North Herts NHS Trust which runs the hospital, said budgeted savings will be wiped out if the Department of Health does not give the go-ahead for phase four of the �150m redevelopment within two weeks.

The �75m final stage of the project to improve acute services is scheduled to finish in September 2013, but any delay will cut into the financial benefits of the programme, as well as impact on care quality improvements.

Mr Carver said: “In the absence of approval of the business case, which the Department of Health has had since October 2010, the trust board will need to consider for how much longer it will be able to mitigate the risk of delay.

“A point where real delay for some projects within phase four will become inevitable will be reached very shortly. This will not only impact on the levels of savings that can be released, but will also mean that our staff and local communities may have to wait longer for planned improvements in some clinical services.”

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He added that “limited work” had been carried out by the trust on a number of phase four projects to mitigate the delay.

“If this action had not been taken, then the trust would now be facing a delay in the completion of its reconfiguration and a consequent loss in revenue savings of approximately �600,000 per month from September

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In a separate delay, phase one of the project, a new Surgicentre, will not treat patients from next month as planned.

The centre for routine day cases was due to open on April 18 but is not ready to receive patients due to a delay by NHS healthcare partner Clinicenta.

Mr Carver said: “Whilst a revised date has yet to be set, the trust will continue to work with Clinicenta and NHS Hertfordshire to progress plans towards delivering fully this new service as soon as possible.

“The delay to the delivery of services by Clinicenta at the Surgicentre means that the planned changes to those surgical services remaining with the trust will also be delayed, as these can only happen at the same time as the Surgicentre begins to treat patients. This is a particular concern as there are a number of quality benefits that will result from these changes.”

Work has begun on a �4.5m round the clock heart attack treatment centre, which is due to open in October.

The new centre will enable the hospital to fulfil a growing demand for invasive cardiac and coronary intervention procedures, Dr Diana Gorog, clinical director of the trust’s cardiology team, said.

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