I note that in his letter to the Herts Advertiser (New Hospital Fight, Thursday April 18, 2019) John Wigley, Chairman of the St Albans and Harpenden Patient Group challenges each of the political parties to write to the Herts Advertiser stating its views about the future of local hospitals.
It may therefore be helpful to know that at the meeting of the St Albans District Council on 20 February 2019, the Labour group moved a motion asserting our support for the retention of the City Hospital. This was amended by the Conservative group to include mention of Harpenden Memorial Hospital and was passed unanimously reading as follows:
“This Council notes the current public engagement on the future of hospital services in West Hertfordshire and the options under consideration. This Council recognises the importance of retaining local accessible services in the three major population centres in the west of the county and therefore calls upon the Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group and the West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust to retain a range of health service provision at St Albans City Hospital including planned surgery, an Urgent Treatment Centre, Midwife-led services, out-patient and diagnostic services.
This Council also notes that the provision of a Health and Wellbeing Hub at the Harpenden Memorial Hospital site has been on the agenda for nearly 10 years, and that after lengthy consultations has been accepted as an important part of the way to deliver local outpatients, diagnostic and wellbeing services to our ageing population and families in the north of the District. We therefore call upon all the NHS Commissioners in the area to work together to bring about this much needed resource.”
The local Labour Party recognises the urgent need to upgrade acute hospital services in the west of the county but considers it vital that we retain a range of services within this District to allow ease of access for many of our residents who struggle to get to other NHS sites. We have campaigned consistently on this position and launched an online (and paper) survey so that residents can demonstrate their support. The online petition can be reached at https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-st-albans-nhs-services-3 .
St Albans District Labour Group leader