Hospitals in Welwyn Hatfield hitting breaking point?
PUBLISHED: 11:22 04 March 2016 | UPDATED: 11:40 04 March 2016
Calls have been made to rethink a "harebrained" scheme which has left just two A&E departments to serve over a million people.
The backlash comes from concerned Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps after the struggling Lister Hospital in Stevenage redirected patients to WGC’s New QEII for the second time in just over a month.
On Monday, the Lister Hospital issued a public warning saying “A&E is exceptionally busy following a very high number of serious and injured people over the last 24 hours or so.
“In order to avoid very long waits for adults with minor injures and illnesses, we are asking these people to go to the 24/7 urgent care centre at the New QEII.”
Lister A&E also urged patients to go to the New QEII Hospital on January 26 this year, before reopening on January 27, blaming ‘record numbers’ of seriously ill patients.
Mr Shapps said: “This is exactly what we warned would happen after the harebrained scheme to reduce A&E at the QEII.
“The health bosses have now left a county with over a million people with just two A&E departments in Watford and Stevenage.
“It’s time to rethink our hospital healthcare.”
The East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust spokesman said: “With regard to the comments received on the paper’s Facebook page, we understand that whilst most people are pleased with the care they receive from our emergency department and urgent care centre services, there will be some who are less happy.
“Where the latter’s the case, we always encourage people to get in touch so that we can understand what’s happened and put things right where we can.
“Every month we ask our patients to rate the care they receive. When it comes to A&E services, this involves between 2,000 and 2,500 people rating the service every month; typically around 85 per cent say they would recommend the service to their family and friends.
“As such, this rating reflects a much more accurate picture of people’s experience of the care they receive in our A&E services.
“That said, however, there is always more that we can - and will do - to make improvements wherever possible.”