Your Care, Your Future - it’s time to have your say on West Herts hospital services

St Albans Hospital. Minor injuries unit.

St Albans Hospital. Minor injuries unit. - Credit: Archant

Residents’ views on the future of hospital services in West Herts are being sought at a meeting in St Albans next week.

The council’s health and wellbeing partnership will be discussing the options at a meeting on Thursday, September 1, and is inviting residents to submit questions ahead of the meeting.

The partnership provides a forum for district councillors, healthcare bodies, users, patient groups and other parties to discuss the provision of health and social care.

Local NHS bodies and the county council have been carrying out a strategic review into the future delivery of health services in West Herts entitled Your Care, Your Future.

It has been looking at how to deliver high quality health services to meet the growing demand of an ageing population as well as exploring how to close the financial gap for health and social care.

The first phase of the review has resulted in concentration on doing more to prevent ill health, delivering care closer to people’s homes, reducing the number of hospital visits and making sure services are more joined up.

Now it is asking for views about future hospital provision and has come up with three options - centralising acute care at a new hospital in a central location, centralising acute care at Watford General or locating acute emergency and specialised care at Watford with planned care and complex diagnostics at St Albans City Hospital.

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A further model is also being considered following feedback from patient groups - specialist emergency care being provided at a new hospital with stabilised patients being transferred when appropriate to other local hospitals. Such a system is in operation in Northumbria.

Cllr Robert Donald, chair of the St Albans health and wellbeing partnership, urged residents to give their views on hospital provision so members coould put comments and concerns to senior NHS managers at the meeting.

He said partnership members would be seeking more details about each hospital option, particularly the implications for St Albans City and Harpenden Memorial Hospitals.

He added: “Given that past promises for improved healthcare services in St Albans and Harpenden have not always happened, we will press for more details about the new options. We will also seek safeguards that ensure promised improvements do accompany the preferred option this time.”

Anyone wishing to comment should contact by next Monday, August 29, with their questions and preferred options.

More information about the options and Your Care,Your Future is available here.