Welwyn Hatfield MP slams health care chiefs over cuts

PUBLISHED: 18:07 18 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:43 19 October 2017

Lister Hospital in Stevenage. Picture: East and North Herts NHS Trust.

Lister Hospital in Stevenage. Picture: East and North Herts NHS Trust.

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Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps has laid into the area’s health care providers after a string of cuts were revealed.

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps

A leaked document earlier this month showed that 900 non-clinical staff at several hospitals, including WGC’s New QEII and the Lister in Stevenage, were offered voluntary redundancy – with 40 expected to be accepted.

It was followed by the East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which funds health services in the area, backing several cost-cutting measures to combat a financial crisis.

Among those was slashing NHS-funded IVF treatment from three cycles to one.

Taking aim at the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust (ENH), Conservative MP Mr Shapps said: “The ENH Trust health bosses are always telling us that they are taking action to make services more efficient.

East and North Herts NHS Trust chief executive Nick Carver. Picture credit: East and North Herts NHS Trust. East and North Herts NHS Trust chief executive Nick Carver. Picture credit: East and North Herts NHS Trust.

“This is what they told us when they merged administration between the QEII and the Lister. This is what they told us again when they actually closed down major services at the QEII and moved them to the Lister.

“And now they want us to believe it for a third time, as they make redundancies and peel away services that my constituents rely on.”

Mr Shapps added that after messaging the trust’s chief executive Nick Carver with several questions, he had not even had the courtesy of an acknowledgement.

A trust spokesman responded: “Mr Shapps’ letter was received at the trust on Tuesday, October 10 2017 and a response has been sent to him.

“The trust very much welcomes Mr Shapps’ request to meet and discuss his concerns; an approach has been made to get a date arranged.”

The spokesman confirmed its response was sent the day after the WHT’s request for comment.

Former Tory Party co-chairman Mr Shapps also said it was “depressing” to hear that the CCG is going backwards on its own provision of IVF treatment.

A spokesman for the CCG said the decision was made after a 10-week consultation and was designed to make best use of limited available money.

“These decisions haven’t been taken lightly and our conversations with the public have demonstrated that many people understand the challenges faced by the NHS in Hertfordshire and beyond,” she added.

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