Nightime A&E changes may mean longer journeys for St Albans patients

OVERNIGHT accident and emergency services at the QEII Hospital have been reduced which could force patients in the St Albans district to travel further afield for treatment.

The East and North Herts NHS Trust announced major changes to its adult and children A&E services at the Welwyn Garden City-based hospital from this Monday, January 16.

Children aged over 12 months will now be treated only for minor injuries on a 24-hour basis at the QEII A&E department.

Those who develop more serious or life-threatening conditions will have to be taken to the Lister Hospital in Stevenage or their parents will need to call 999.

Babies under 12 months who also need hospital treatment should be taken to a 24/7 specialist children’s emergency department at the nearest hospital.

Adults can continue to use the current A&E service between 8am and 8pm daily but overnight the service will treat minor injuries only.

The trust’s medical director and consultant ENT surgeon, James Quinn, said the organisation was halfway through transforming the Lister into the main hospital for emergency and inpatient services for all of East and North Herts as well as parts of Bedfordshire.