A campaign is underway for a new hospital and cancer centre to be built in Hatfield, replacing the QEII at Welwyn Garden City.
Members of the public can add their names to an online petition set up by supporters of the plan.
Consultations are due to close on 11 June, although there are currently efforts underway to have this extended.
There are two options on the table and a detailed explanation of both is contained in a document entitled ‘Investing In Your Health’, produced the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Strategic Health Authority (BHSHA).
The BHSHA has also prepared a summary of the issues being considered during the consultation period, including more information on the options particularly the local health needs and likely costs of both.
According to the BHSHA the options are as follows:
- Option one would retain and develop the six existing major hospitals (Bedford, Luton & Dunstable, Lister, Hemel Hempstead, QEII and Watford), including a substantial redevelopment of Hemel Hempstead hospital to include a new cancer centre.
- Option two would retain and develop five existing major hospitals (Bedford, Luton & Dunstable, Lister, Hemel Hempstead and Watford), and build a new hospital in Hatfield to replace the QEII at Welwyn Garden City and provide a new cancer centre.
The BHSHA says:
- Option one is marginally cheaper (about one to two per cent), but would mean that more people on the outskirts will be travelling out of the two counties for their care.
- Option two may make it easier to attract staff, because of the opportunity to develop a teaching hospital linked to the university, and fewer people are likely to travel out of the two counties for their care.
The East Herts Community Health Council has given its full backing to option two and says it is a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ for major improvements to local health care services. East Herts supports the proposal because it would:
- Give access to A&E at all six hospitals
- Provide local high-quality cancer services
- Bring hospital services closer to home for more patients
- Help to ensure there are more doctors, nurses and therapists
- Strengthen the case for a Medical School at the University of Hertfordshire.
A group called O2H
has been formed to campaign for the new hospital to be located in Hatfield and a website has been set up to try to sway the decision.
If you agree with option two, you can add your name to the petition by visiting the O2H site and completing the online form.
If you agree with option one, you can add your name to a petition being run by Hemel Hempstead Today at Hemel on-line, where you will also be able to read the other side of the debate.
The Comet Online also puts the case for option one quoting conservative MP Oliver Heald.
Note: This item was added following a suggestion from a user of the Brookmans Park Newsletter and Forum.
18 May 2003