MP Shapps should stop playing politics with QE2 Hospital

SIR – Once again our MP engages in his negative campaigning concerning our local health service. Of course, we would all wish that the new hospital at Hatfield had gone ahead. Once the decision had been made that the new hospital would not be built, many

SIR - Once again our MP engages in his negative campaigning concerning our local health service.

Of course, we would all wish that the new hospital at Hatfield had gone ahead.

Once the decision had been made that the new hospital would not be built, many of us as local residents would then have preferred the development and modernising of QE2.

But once again, when the decision had been made in favour of the Lister, we were willing to look positively and intelligently at what would be offered on the QE2 site.


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I, for one, welcome the draft plans that have now been published.

The effect of our MP's determination to make political capital out of every issue can only be discouraging to NHS staff at every level whose job is not politics but, within the national policy framework of any government in power, to offer the best possible service to the public.

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They are subject to budgetary constraints determined long in advance as Grant must surely know.

As the CEO of the East &North Herts Trust has cause to know, I do not hesitate to complain about local health services, when there is cause, and it would be helpful if more of the public would do the same. But consistent negativity is not helpful to Grant's constituents.

I recall his campaign against the new GP clinic at Spring House, that is now providing the easier accessibility to GP services that the public asked for. He did not hesitate to panic people into thinking it would mean closure of all the local GP surgeries - an outcome that would result only if the majority of people chose to remove their registration from local surgeries, a step that is not required in order to receive treatment at Spring House.

As a result of his campaign some people even imagine that use of Spring House will hasten the 'closure' of the QE2!

I recall his whipping up of anxiety about delays on the A1(M) and his failure to back the repeated assurances from paramedics that they carry the equipment necessary for the immediate safety of heart patients and their advice that patients who suspect a heart attack should not waste time in getting to a hospital wherever it is, but should ring 999 and get the paramedics to the patient as soon as possible.

It is accurate information that is needed, not misinformation for political ends.

I should, myself, be grateful for more information about the proposed new mental health unit and the range of patients that would receive treatment there. I am aware that responsibility for plans for that unit probably lies with the Mental Health Trust rather than the trust for general in-patient services, but I am sure that many members of the public would be interested to know more about those plans.

One criticism I do have about our local NHS is a lack of reliable information for the public.

A website is not enough when few people access it.

Instead of negativity we need responsible comment and constructive criticism and no further major reorganisations with every change of government.

It would be more helpful if our MP would turn his attention and undoubted campaigning skills to the total lack of bus services in some areas of the town so that QE2 is no more accessible to some of us than the Lister, or to the current commercially motivated touting for public support for Tesco's plans for the Broadwater Road site as against the community motivated plans offered by the YMCA.

Betty Saunders,

Birchall Wood, via email.

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