Newly re-elected MP Mike Penning, hits the ground running by meeting with the Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust just hours after the election count.
Mike met with the CCG and Trust to seek clarification on three main issues affecting healthcare in Hemel Hempstead.
1. What facilities will be retained in Hemel Hempstead?
2. The future of out-of-hours care at the Urgent Care Centre?
3. The option of a new hospital on a greenfield site.
The Trust agreed to clarify the first two of the concerns by the Autumn.
“It was a very positive and productive meeting and we agreed a way forward. The people of Hemel need to know what services the local NHS plans to be available in Hemel Hempstead in the future.
“On the matter of the overnight Urgent Care Centre. They agreed to look at the possibility of the UCC remaining open 24 hours but run by paramedics or nurse practitioners. If, as they tell us, the problem is not money but difficulty in finding GPs prepared to work overnight, then surely this is a good solution. I understand there are plenty of similar facilities operating elsewhere on this basis.”
On the matter of the new hospital site, Mike urged them to take the proposals seriously, although he rejected suggestion of citing a new hospital on greenbelt land at Wayside Farm in Kings Langley as this is a fully functioning and well-respected dairy farm.
“It has always been my gut feeling that a new hospital will be more cost effective in the long run as well as better for the local people of all three main towns in the area. Pouring more money into the Watford site is madness.
“I don’t think Wayside Farm is the right location though, there are numerous other sites – many of them brownfield – that should be considered.”