Community reacts to closure of overnight Urgent Care Centre service at New QEII Hospital

Urgent Care Centre at The New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Alan Davies

Urgent Care Centre at The New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City - Credit: Alan Davies

Following the vote last week to close the overnight service at the Urgent Care Centre at the New QEII Hospital, the local community made their feelings about the decision clear on social media.

The previously 24 hour service will now operate from 8am to 10pm after the East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group said on average less than one patient per hour used the service at nights.

The New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Alan Davies

The New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City - Credit: Alan Davies

Conservative councillor Drew Richardson went online to share his opinion: "I am very disappointed on the decision to close out of hours Urgent Care at the QE2 hospital. I have been campaigning for it to stay open since I was elected and this is not the outcome we were expecting.

Former Labour borough councillor  Astrid Thorpe responded strongly: "Your party [the Conservatives] doesn't want the NHS, didn't vote for its creation, has taken away nurses' bursaries, has watched nurses lining up at food banks then given them an insulting 3 per cent pay rise after everything they've done and is generally bringing the NHS to it's knees so it can privatise it."

There were other concerns shared by residents, beyond which political party may or may not be to blame, with a particularly frequent question being whether there will be enough healthcare provisions with the area's increasing population thanks to all the new developments.

The Urgent Care Centre entrance at The New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Alan Davies

The Urgent Care Centre entrance at The New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City - Credit: Alan Davies

Syreeta Lesley said: "This is ludicrous. There are too many houses/flats being built and no infrastructure to support it. Not only are there not enough doctors/dentists our nearest hospital is along the A1 - god help you if you get poorly during rush hour. Then there’s schools - not enough spaces in mainstream and don’t even get me started on specialist provision."


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Just a week prior at the most recent full council meeting a motion was put forward by Labour councillor Kieran Thorpe on the topic of there being a lack of GP provisions for the area.

Following an amendment to the motion, the council noted 'growing concerns within our community about the lack of GP provision in Welwyn Hatfield' and unanimously agreed to 'write to the chair of the Hertfordshire County Council Health Scrutiny panel to call for the panel to conduct scrutiny to investigate how this provision could be delivered and to write to the chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board asking for it to be raised there'.

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