Health crisis: Tories’ anger at scrapped plan

THE Shadow Health Secretary expressed his anger at the decision to scrap plans for a Hatfield superhospital when he paid a visit to Lister on Monday. Andrew Lansley made the trip as staff at Lister also wait to hear if their hospital will lose out to the

THE Shadow Health Secretary expressed his anger at the decision to scrap plans for a Hatfield superhospital when he paid a visit to Lister on Monday.

Andrew Lansley made the trip as staff at Lister also wait to hear if their hospital will lose out to the QEII in accommodating the majority of acute and emergency services.

Mr Lansley met with representatives from the Royal College of Nursing and unions Amicus and Unison.

Talking exclusively to The Comet, he said: "I wanted to meet the staff side here representing the Lister.


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"I'm very angry, frankly, that so much money and commitment has gone into the Hatfield project and now we are simply told it's not going to happen.

"From the staff side point of view, there are not only uncertainties but there is also the issue of what people are going to do in the longer term.

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"We need a financial settlement that reflects the burden of disease in Hertfordshire.

"We are looking for accessible services such as a cancer centre but at the moment it looks like everything is financially driven rather than service designed.

"We are supposed to have an NHS that's growing. It looks like that is falling apart and something that is financially driven will be put in place, which is not good enough."

Stephen McPartland, Tory prospective parliamentary candidate for Stevenage, accompanied Mr Lansley on his visit.

Mr McPartland said: "Across the county, a lot of people are losing their jobs. Lister and the QEII are under threat because the Hatfield hospital hasn't been pulled off.

"Due to financial deficits they are having to cut staff members which is affecting hygiene and patient care.

"Most of the local community don't know what's going on in the local health service. There are very real problems.

"We need to identify what's going wrong."

A spokesman for the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust said: "The Trust rejects any claim that the changes that it has introduced recently, some of which have involved the Trust employing fewer people in some areas, have led to lower standards of patient care and hygiene.

"This simply isn't true.

"Throughout the ward changes that have taken place in the last few months, the Trust has not made frontline nurses and doctors redundant.

"We have only made changes to staffing where it's safe to do so and each position has been reviewed individually."

He added: "We also have a set contract for the cleaning of our hospitals, which has not been changed - other than to work closely with the contractor to ensure that our hospitals are cleaned thoroughly.

"The positive effect of the latter is something which has been picked up in recent inspections that look specifically at cleanliness and hygiene.

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