Labour Party fights to save services at St Albans City Hospital
- Credit: Archant
The St Albans Labour Party has launched a petition to show their support for retaining services at St Albans City Hospital.
NHS bosses recently ruled out building a new acute A&E hospital for west Herts due to budget constraints, and instead will consider options for how to renovate existing services.
Options include retaining emergency and critical care at Watford General Hospital, and either developing Hemel Hempstead Hospital for medicine and St Albans for surgery, centralising all planned care at either Hemel or St Albans, or replacing both sites with a new planned care hospital.
Both local Labour councillors and St Albans’ Conservative MP Anne Main have voiced fears services may be downgraded or removed from St Albans City.
At a St Albans district council meeting on Wednesday, February 20, the Labour Group won all-party support for their proposal to recognise the importance of retaining the hospital’s services, which include planned surgery, an Urgent Treatment Centre, midwife-led services, outpatient and diagnostic services.
Cllr Roma Mills emphasised the importance of having a range of health services in the city as travel outside of St Albans is difficult for patients who do not have access to a car.
She said: “HVCCG has made it clear that there is not enough funding available to pay for a brand new hospital in the west of the county, and the options they have put forward include the loss of hospital services in our city.
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“We need to make our voices heard to ensure that does not happen.”
MP Anne Main has described herself as “completely opposed to the removal of any services from the city site”.
An HVCCG spokeswoman said: “We are working closely with West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust to arrive at a proposal for future hospital services that will deliver the best solution for patients across the whole of west Herts within financial spending limits set by the NHS nationally.
“We are engaging with lots of different people and organisations, including patients, as part of our work to explore various options.
“Any proposal involving significant change to the provision of hospital services would require formal public consultation.”
To sign the petition go to https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-st-albans-nhs-services-3