Another service axed at Potters Bar Community Hospital

PUBLISHED: 17:12 30 May 2018

Potters Bar Community Hospital

Potters Bar Community Hospital

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After promises that its future is "secure", Potters Bar Community Hospital is set to lose yet another clinic.

Potters Bar's MP Oliver Dowden with representatives of Herts Valleys CCG in 2017. Picture credit: Oliver Dowden's office.Potters Bar's MP Oliver Dowden with representatives of Herts Valleys CCG in 2017. Picture credit: Oliver Dowden's office.

The fortnightly Endocrinology and Metabolic Medicine clinic at Potters Bar, which is run by the Royal Free London NHS Trust, will close at the end of July 2018.

A spokesperson for the Trust said: “We have been advising the small number of patients who attend a fortnightly endocrinology clinic at Potters Bar Community Hospital that their appointments will take place at Barnet Hospital or Finchley Memorial Hospital from late July.”

The reason given was: “Clinics used by small numbers of patients often move to different locations within our trust, as is the case across the NHS.”

The Trust estimates the Potters Bar clinic takes around 100 appointments a year.

Potters Bar Community HospitalPotters Bar Community Hospital

After closure, patients are advised to travel 3.4 miles away to Barnet Hospital, or around 7.3 miles to Finchley Memorial Hospital.

Endocrinology is a branch of medicine that treats diseases or manages issues related to hormones, including diabetes, thyroid disease, osteoporosis, and menopause.

When the Welwyn Hatfield Times first asked about the plans last week, the responsible Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) at the hospital itself had not been told.

Herts Valleys CCG said on May 24: “We have not been made aware that the service provision for endocrinology clinics is ceasing at Potters Bar Community Hospital.

“The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust run this service and we will be investigating this as a matter of urgency.”

The Endocrinology and Metabolic Medicine unit is one of eleven clinics run at Potters Bar.

Five of the hospital’s services were cut in 2017, sparking fears for the future of the hospital overall.

In October, Mr Dowden sought confirmation from the CCG that no more provision would be cut, saying in December that he had received “a firm assurance from them that this important local hospital will remain open and that its future is secure,” although no mention was made about the future of individual services.

On learning of the closure, Mr Dowden said: “I was very concerned to hear about the plan to move the fortnightly endocrinology clinic to Barnet.

“This is contrary to the reassurances I received when I met the Royal Free’s chief executive, Sir David Sloman, in November, and I am contacting him as a matter of urgency.”

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