Welwyn Garden City hospital units set for Stevenage move

STAFF at the QE2 and Lister hospitals are being consulted about centralising two major departments at Stevenage.

The move will see two new specialist medical units created at the Lister – one for acute stroke and the other for inpatient cardiology services.

A spokesman for the East and North Herts NHS Trust said although the changes would result in the loss of 19 beds from the WGC hospital, there would, hopefully, be no job losses.

The trust was committed to avoiding compulsory redundancies “at all costs” and would “make every effort” to redeploy staff into suitable posts, he said.

The changes, which are due to be be made in August, will see the acute stroke rehabilitation service relocated from Bayford ward at the QE2 alongside the Lister’s hyper-acute stroke unit, on ward 6A in the Stevenage hospital’s main tower block.

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The QE2’s inpatient cardiology service, on the former Bramfield ward, will also be moved to create a single trust-wide service on ward 9B at the Lister.

Dr Jon Baker, divisional director for medicine and a consultant in emergency medicine, said: “Our senior doctors and nurses have been aware the trust’s specialist inpatient stroke and cardiology services can be improved further, thus helping even more lives to be saved than is the case today.

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“Just as importantly, for those who survive their illness, these new services will help them have an improved chance of making a full recovery or enjoying a better quality of care than otherwise might be the case.

“These moves will also allow our stroke and inpatient cardiology services to begin the trust’s moves to providing local people with access to full 24/7 stroke and heart attack centres.”

The changes are in line with the county-wide Delivering quality health care for Hertfordshire strategy, which is seeing the QE2 Hospital downgraded and major services being centralised up the motorway at the Lister.

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