Tories vow to stop Welwyn Garden City hospital downgrade plans

TORY politicians have once again reiterated they would halt plans to downgrade the QE2 Hospital, should they win the looming General Election.

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps and shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley delivered the message to PCT chief executive Anne Walker and chairman Stuart Bloom at a meeting on Monday.

Mr Lansley spoke to the Welwyn Hatfield Times after the summit at the PCT’s headquarters in Charter House, WGC.

He said: “We’d call a moratorium on reconfiguration of this kind so the community, and in particular local GPs, will have the chance to make a decision on what services they want for the longer term provided here in WGC.

Mr Lansley said it was “not about undoing” what was being developed at the Lister in Stevenage, but to ensure essential services – such as A&E and a midwife-led birth unit – were retained at the QE2.

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“The NHS trust is pressing on with what is happening at the Lister on the assumption services will be provided at the QE2, but the PCT has not made any progress.

“The PCT has no contracts and no business case in place yet.”

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Asked about his thoughts to the artist’s designs for the new QE2, revealed this month, Mr Shapps told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “I think the whole scheme is barking mad.

“It’s insane to be presenting plans for a slimmed-down hospital, when what everyone wants is A&E and a maternity unit on hand.”

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