Problem Surgicentre under the knife

Bosses of a multi-million pound surgery centre beset by cancellation problems in its first six months have been called in by MPs to explain the situation.

Patients attending the privately run Surgicentre on the Lister Hospital site which has a five year NHS contract to carry out routine surgery, have had difficulty accessing the service and operations cancelled at the last minute, leading to a flood of complaints.

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland who chaired a meeting with the centre’s operators Clinicenta and its owners Carillion, said the situation is not good enough.

“We demanded both Clinicenta and Carillion present themselves at Parliament to identify a way forward to improve the experience of our constituents.”

He added that a number of changes have been put in place to improve the service, but called for reform of the “deeply flawed” delivery process put in place by the last government.

Hitchin MP Peter Lilley who was also at the meeting alongside North East Herts member Oliver Heald, said: “It is encouraging that the company’s top management are taking steps to deal with the problems faced by our constituents. But a fundamental solution may well require a move away from the unnecessarily complex contractual relationship between the Surgicentre and the hospital.”