Hatfield superhospital scrapped - Lister to stay?
PUBLISHED: 15:08 10 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:11 06 May 2010
PLANS for a multi-million pound hospital at Hatfield have been scrapped. The East and North Herts NHS Trust announced this afternoon that the proposed new hospital was unaffordable. Now the Hatfield project has been abandoned acute hospital services will
PLANS for a multi-million pound hospital at Hatfield have been scrapped.
The East and North Herts NHS Trust announced this afternoon that the proposed new hospital was unaffordable.
Now the Hatfield project has been abandoned acute hospital services will be centralised on a single site, either at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage or the QEII at Welwyn Garden City.
In a letter signed by trust chairman Richard Beazley and chief executive Nick Carver, staff was told: "The decision means that subject to public consultation early next year, the Lister or the QE II will become the trust's main site for acute hospital services in the future.
"This will require significant investment to be made and take several years to complete. The PCTs have also said where an area does not host acute service locally, compensating investment will be made in local primary and community care facilities.
"A series of open briefings have been organised for staff next week."
Announcing the trust's decision to abandon the Hatfield hospital plan, Mr Beazley told a press conference in Welwyn Garden City: "Over the last three years, our staff, along with their colleagues elsewhere in the NHS and many from the community, has worked exceptionally hard to develop plans for the proposed new hospital in Hatfield.
"Today's news will be greeted with disappointed by us all. However, we have to be realistic.
"Much has changed since July, 2004 when the Hatfield project received the support of the then health secretary Dr John Reid, with perhaps the biggest change being the highly challenging financially positions of virtually all the NHS organisations in Hertfordshire.
"The challenge facing the trust now is to accept the decision and to develop new proposals that will still allow us to deliver the vision set out in Investing in your Health-high quality specialist acute services in modern facilities that allow our clinical staff to offer better and sustainable standards of care than is the case today."
Mr Carver said: "I know that many of our staff, as well as the public, will feel very disappointed by this development.
"Hatfield represented the trust's longer term solution to its current clinical, operational and financial challenges. With its passing, the need to bring acute services together must be addressed.