Grant Shapps 'completely opposed' to closure of QEII Urgent Care Centre at night

Grant Shapps MP QE2 Welwyn Garden City

Following the vote to close overnight care at the UCC, Grant Shapps said there is a sense that promises have been made but not honoured - Credit: Archant

The closure of night time services at the QEII Urgent Care Centre (UCC) in Welwyn Garden City has been condemned by the town's MP.

The  governing body of East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group voted unanimously to change the opening hours of the UCC from 24 hours a day to 8am till 10pm.

“I remain completely opposed to the closure of the QEII Urgent Care Centre at night," said MP Grant Shapps in response to the decision.

"As MP for Welwyn Hatfield, I have been involved in campaigning to keep services open in the QEII hospital for a number of years.

"I’ve been in contact with the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for the last two years about the proposed change, outlining my opposition and demanding answers on the logic being used to justify it.

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"This includes a letter I sent to them in advance of yesterday’s vote restating my objection."

There is some disagreement between local political parties as to who is to blame for the cut in hours at the UCC.

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Following the vote, Labour councillor Max Holloway made his feelings clear that the decision didn't come as a surprise, and talking about the NHS he said: "Under the Conservatives it gets carved up, closed down and sold off – all while they pretend to care."

While Grant Shapps suggested the underlying causes of the closure dates back more than a decade to the last Labour government and the decisions they made at the time.

Mr Shapps continued: "But It’s not just me that opposes this change - the overwhelming majority of people in Welwyn Hatfield will be concerned and angered at the reduction in services.

"In the mid-2000s the then-Labour government promised a super-hospital in the area, then sold us down the river, and downgraded the QEII. Health bosses have given pledges in the past that services would be protected.

"There is a sense that promises are made by the CCG which are then never honoured. This, unfortunately, is another such example.”

The date from which the UCC will close overnight is yet to be agreed but will publicised widely throughout the local area.

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