Isn't one better than none?

PUBLISHED: 10:57 07 February 2008 | UPDATED: 21:20 26 October 2009

SIR - In the recent weeks, there have been numerous letters by outraged local WGC people following the announced closure of the QE2 Hospital (Downgrading - Editor). Most of the letters have a theme - that Hatfield and WGC will be left without adequate me

SIR - In the recent weeks, there have been numerous letters by outraged local WGC people following the announced closure of the QE2 Hospital (Downgrading - Editor).

Most of the letters have a theme - that Hatfield and WGC will be left without adequate medical services.

When I first heard about the proposed closure of my local hospital last summer, I too was shocked and upset.

My four lovely children were all born at the QE2 and over the last 15 years, my family have been regular visitors to the A and E department with the children's many "incidents" (wasp stings, broken limbs, cuts, strange rashes).

Interested in healthcare (I work in the pharmaceutical industry) I wanted to understand the reasons for the decision to close either the QE2 or Lister and how it would affect my family.

So I looked on the NHS website (www.enherts-pct.nhs.uk/consultation) and found the outcome of the public consultation, including details of what is planned for the hospital site selected for closure - now known to be the QE2.

I'm sure some of consultation information could have been better publicised so we, the patients, really do understand what we will and will not lose - hence my letter.

From my reading of the consultation document, WGC/Hatfield will have a brand new general hospital, probably in the same place (hopefully with much better car parking!).

It will have a form of A and E department (called an urgent care centre) where two-thirds of regular trips to casualty can be handled.

There will be X-ray, MRI, ultrasound, setting of straightforward bone breaks, suturing of wounds, etc - it just won't be capable of coping with major road accidents or cases that potentially need specialist medical attention.

So now add in that the new facility is planned to have pre/postnatal care and most likely a midwife led maternity unit (probably not - editor), and my family would be able to keep our "season ticket" to our local hospital.

This left me with only one real gripe, the time taken to get to the major hospital for life-threatening situations.

But, if I accept that there never is going to be sufficient NHS funds to bring both the QE2 and the Lister up to today's standard of modern clinical excellence, then isn't it better to have one than none ?

Susan Fowles, Welwyn.

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