Tory candidate campaigns to ‘save’ surgery that isn’t closing

PUBLISHED: 15:41 26 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:42 26 March 2018

Conservative candidate Drew Richardson.

Conservative candidate Drew Richardson.

Archant

A Conservative political candidate has put out a leaflet stating that he will “fight tooth and nail” to save a Welwyn Garden City medical practice - that has no plans to close.

Part of Mr Richardson's leaflet mistakenly claimed Moors Walk surgery is closing. Picture: Welwyn Hatfield Conservatives.Part of Mr Richardson's leaflet mistakenly claimed Moors Walk surgery is closing. Picture: Welwyn Hatfield Conservatives.

A Conservative political candidate has put out a leaflet stating that he will “fight tooth and nail” to save a Welwyn Garden City medical practice - that has no plans to close.

Dr Thomas Gillham, a GP at Moors Walk Surgery, contacted the Welwyn Hatfield Times to assure patients that the practice is not closing.

In hundreds of leaflets posted to households last week, Drew Richardson, the Tory candidate for Haldens, said:

“I will campaign and fight to ensure that Moors Walk Surgery does not close.

Moors Walk SurgeryMoors Walk Surgery

“It is an absolute cornerstone of the community in the Moors Walk area of Haldens Ward, and so many residents rely upon it.

“I will fight tooth and nail to keep the surgery open, and I will ensure that the council does everything it can to avoid the surgery’s closure.”

The leaflet included a photograph of Mr Richardson outside the “endangered” surgery.

Dr Gillham said: “Peartree Group Practice would like to reassure our patients, especially those living in Haldens and surrounding areas who will have received the leaflet, that no such plans exist.

“On the contrary, Moors Walk surgery continues to be developed to respond to the changing demands on general practice and is the host site for Peartree Group’s innovative triage system..

“Our three sites - at Peartree Lane, Moors Walk and Hollybush Lane - are thriving after a successful CQC inspection and GPs and staff are working hard to maintain a high level of care.

“We have received an unreserved apology for the communication error.

“We understand that the item in Mr Richardson’s party’s newsletter “In Touch” related to the relocation of an entirely different practice in the town.

“Whilst we are dismayed by such a blunder, our priority continues to be our patients.

“We’d like to take this opportunity to reaffirm that Moors Walk surgery will continue to serve our valued patients for decades to come.”

A spokesperson for Welwyn Hatfield Conservatives said they planned to issue a correction by letter.

Mr Richardson, who works as a car salesman in Welwyn Garden City, said: “In my most recent election literature I was mistakenly informed that Moors Walk Surgery was looking to be closed and moved elsewhere.

“I stand corrected that it is in fact the Garden City Practice that is in fact considering moving away from Haldens to Parkway.

“Thankfully Moors Walk Surgery remains a secure and essential local asset that serves the residents of our area well.

“I am glad that there is no risk to it continuing this vital service and I apologise for any confusion caused.”

Haldens’ current councillors are Conservatives Barbara Fitzsimon and Nathaniel Chapman, and Labour’s Mike Larkins.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Welwyn Hatfield Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Welwyn Hatfield Times