Labour can't lecture me about NHS

SIR – As was reported in your newspaper recently, the new GP surgery at the QE2 Hospital site is welcome, just as long as it doesn t result in other local surgeries being put under pressure to close. The potential problem arises from the fact that in

SIR - As was reported in your newspaper recently, the new GP surgery at the QE2 Hospital site is welcome, just as long as it doesn't result in other local surgeries being put under pressure to close.

The potential problem arises from the fact that in order to register at the QE2 surgery, you must first de-register from your own local GP.

Some doctors, therefore, fear that falling patient numbers could put the existing community-based GP surgery network under pressure.

Doctors from across the area wrote to me to raise the alarm last year.


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Now, without actually waiting to see what the long-term impact might be, the Labour Parliamentary candidate, who doesn't actually live in Welwyn Hatfield and is probably not, therefore, signed up to a local GP, tells us that there's nothing to worry about.

He may or may not be right and only time will tell as people make decisions about whether to de-register from their existing local doctors' surgery.

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But let's be frank about this.

No-one will ever want to take lectures about Welwyn Hatfield's healthcare from Labour.

After all, it is this failed Labour Government which has completely decimated our QE2 Hospital by scheduling the closure of A&E, maternity, elderly care, paediatrics and all surgery.

And where are these vital services going? The Lister Hospital which, just by chance, happens to be in the highly marginal Labour constituency of Stevenage.

Meanwhile, we still remember how, prior to the last election, Gordon Brown came and promised us a brand new superhospital in Hatfield.

This was a pledge that quickly melted away when Labour lost its MP in Welwyn Hatfield a few months later.

Now, I'm prepared to listen to anyone who has something worthwhile to say about the healthcare services that my constituents, my family and I use locally.

I'm particularly open to listening to our local doctors when they write to alert me of changes that they believe could have a long-term impact on local GP services.

But lectures from someone who doesn't even live in Welwyn Hatfield and represents the party that so betrayed us on the superhospital in Hatfield, before going on to slash our QE2 Hospital, really is too much to bear.

Grant Shapps MP

Editor's note: You will be able to stay at your existing surgery and use the new 'polyclinic' as a walk-in facility. If you choose to register at the polyclinic as your main surgery, you will have to de-register at your current practice.

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