Welwyn Hatfield doctors urged to listen to patients over new QE2 plans

DOCTORS who will shape what services will be provided at ‘the new QE2’ have been urged to listen to their patients.

MP Grant Shapps has also warned GPs they cannot just “stitch up” the old system and continue as before.

The minister made the comments after meeting some of Welwyn Hatfield’s GPs on Thursday night to explain the changes to the NHS.

Under the Coalition Governement’s plans, it will be local doctors – not bureaucrats – who will get to decided the future of the WGC hospital, including whether or not there is a midwife-led maternity unit on site.

And Mr Shapps told the Welwyn Hatfield Times he expected openness and transparency in the way doctors now operated.

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He said: “During our meeting it became apparent that some, though not all, of the local GPs had already met up in mid-September and agreed to form themselves back into exactly the same geographical block that invented the closure of the QE2 Hospital in the first place.

“I immediately asked what kind of open process had been gone through, why it was that the public hadn’t been informed and whether they could support this given the new Government believes in genuine transparency in public service provision.”

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Mr Shapps said not even all of the GPs in the room were aware of the decision.

“This rings alarm bells because the whole purpose of our NHS reforms is to transfer back to the public through their GPs,” he said.

“Simply stitching up the old broken system won’t do.

“I’ve pointed out to the doctors that they would want to start again, talk to their patients and open up a debate with the local public, before making such crucial decisions.”

He added: “They need to take the views and aspirations of local people into account now.”

The Welwyn Hatfield Times reported earlier this month GPs across Welwyn Hatfield have already been approached by a doctor in Stevenage, urging them NOT to back a QE2 maternity unit and support the original plan of centralising the service at the Lister Hospital.

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