NHS blasted over 'pointless' revamp

THERE has been yet another health service rebranding – and it has sparked fierce criticism. Patients and residents were only told of the overhaul the day before it happened. The county s two Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) – East and North Hertfordshire Trust

THERE has been yet another health service rebranding - and it has sparked fierce criticism.

Patients and residents were only told of the overhaul the day before it happened.

The county's two Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) - East and North Hertfordshire Trust and West Hertfordshire Trust - are no more.

They are now called NHS East and North Hertfordshire and NHS West Hertfordshire respectively.


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It is the first revamp since October 2006, when the eight Hertfordshire PCTS were replaced by the current two.

The public were informed of the switch by a letter sent on March 31, stating that the changes would be implemented the following day, April 1.

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The decision reflects the eventual separation of PCTs from direct care services provided by clinical staff such as nurses and therapists in the community.

The Department of Health ultimately plans to turn these services - now known as the Hertfordshire Community Health Service - into completely separate trusts, leaving PCTs solely as commissioning bodies that purchase health care from private firms and voluntary organisations.

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps called the move "a pointless reorganisation".

"The Government seems to think the way of running a system is to keep it in constant flux," he said. It only set up PCTs in 2002. Since then they've been whittled down, rebranded; they can't leave it alone."

A spokeswoman for NHS East and North Hertfordshire said: "Eventually, community services are going to be a separate organisation. We will be the commissioning organisation that ensures patients get quality and value for money."

She defended the decision to inform the public of the name change the day before it was put in place, and denied the move was a pointless rebranding exercise.

"To the public nothing had changed," she said. "This is in preparation of the eventual break from community services.

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