No guarantees for Potters Bar Community Hospital clinics

PUBLISHED: 16:00 24 June 2018

Potters Bar Community Hospital

Potters Bar Community Hospital

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After the number of clinics serving Potters Bar Community Hospital has halved since 2015, the bodies responsible are making no promises that others won’t be cut.

Potters Bar's MP Oliver Dowden with representatives of Herts Valleys CCG in 2017. Picture credit: Oliver Dowden's office.Potters Bar's MP Oliver Dowden with representatives of Herts Valleys CCG in 2017. Picture credit: Oliver Dowden's office.

In the latest closure, patients using the endocrinology unit have been asked to attend clinics at Barnet Hospital by July.

This came a few months after Hertsmere’s MP, Oliver Dowden, announced that he had been assured by Herts Valleys CCG that the hospital is “secure” in a meeting in October last year.

• READ MORE: Potters Bar Community Hospital’s future ‘secure’, local MP claims

The Welwyn Hatfield Times asked the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, which provides the hospital’s services, and the CCG, if they could guarantee no more services would be closed.

A spokesperson for the CCG said: “There is never a guarantee or promise that the services we look after will not change – at Potters Bar Community Hospital or anywhere else within our CCG area.”

They added that healthcare provision country-wide changes all the time as populations and healthcare methods change.

The Royal Free currently provides clinics for paediatrics, gynaecology, rheumatology, vascular issues, physiotherapy, plus X-ray and ultrasound at Potters Bar.

But services for endocrinology, ENT (ear, nose and throat) services, dermatology, general surgery and orthopaedics have all been relocated since 2016.

Urology was also scrapped in June 2015.

A spokesperson for the Royal Free trust said: “Sometimes for safety, risk, and demand, it is necessary to move a service from one building to another to deliver a service.

“This decision is worked up by the trust and is shared with the commissioner and local stakeholders.

“The decision will consider demand, risk, safety of patients and staff and efficiency.”

In response to the CCG and Royal Free’s statements, Mr Dowden said: “While I understand the need to constantly adjust services to reflect demand, this was contrary to the previous assurances I had received.

“Following my conversation with the chief of the Royal Free NHS Trust, I am arranging meetings with Herts Valley CCG and Herts Community NHS Trust.

“I will make clear to them the enormous value of the hospital to the local area and press them on their plans for securing its future.”

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