Urgent care crisis at St Albans City Hospital
MHEALTH care operators cannot be found to take on an urgent care centre at St Albans City Hospital. One bidder to take on the new service was found but the bid was not thought to be competitively priced. Now St Albans MP Anne Main is writing to West Herts
MHEALTH care operators cannot be found to take on an urgent care centre at St Albans City Hospital.
One bidder to take on the new service was found but the bid was not thought to be competitively priced.
Now St Albans MP Anne Main is writing to West Herts Primary Care Trust (PCT) to ask for a full briefing and a rapid response.
She said: "Yet again St Albans seems to be falling foul of procurement processes. We can't allow delays to beset the ultimate aim of having a fully functioning urgent care centre."
Three urgent care centres are up and running in Hemel Hempstead, Hertford and Cheshunt but services are still to be secured over the next three years at St Albans, Watford General, QE2 Hospital in Welwyn Garden City ,The Lister in Stevenage and another hospital in Bishops Stortford.
The urgent care centre at St Albans City would replace the minor injuries unit which was opened at the hospital as a sop to local people when accident and emergency services were switched to Hemel Hempstead.
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That too has now closed and the only full A&E department in West Herts is at Watford General.
A spokesperson for the PCT admitted that they were disappointed at the response from the market and said they were developing different approaches to delivering urgent care services which would meet local need and achieve value for money.
She added: "This is not something that we are able to make decisions on immediately and it is right that we take some time to identify and consider options for how we deliver urgent care services in this area.
"During this period of investigation the PCT will be talking to local clinicians such as GPs and those based at the hospitals before coming to any firm conclusions about the best way to develop and provide urgent care in St Albans."
Blob* The new West Herts Medical Centre in Hemel Hempstead, which is available to people living in the St Albans district, is holding an open day next Tuesday, November 10.
The centre is open from 8am to 8pm seven days a week and offers booked appointments and a walk-in service even if patients are not registered there.
The open day will run from 2pm to 8pm at Hemel Hempstead Hospital in Hillfield Road.