Liberal Democrat Candidates for S W Herts and for Hemel Hempstead Urge Action on Local Hospital Services

March 23, 2015 7:19 AM
Originally published by East of England Liberal Democrats

NHS DoctorLiberal Democrat parliamentary candidates Rabi Martins (Hemel Hempstead) and Nigel Quinton (SW Herts) have met with the interim Chief Exec of West Herts Hospital Trust Jac Kelly MBE to highlight their concerns over the uncertainties regarding provision of hospital services in Hemel Hempstead and South West Herts.

Speaking after the meeting Rabi Martins said he was disappointed that Ms Kelly was unable to give any details of plans for the moribund Hemel Hempstead hospital buildings or give any details about a long-term plan for the area even though she did acknowledge that much needed to be done to improve services and facilities.

Nigel Quinton commented: "Ms Kelly clearly shares our concerns about the state of Watford General, the problems of access and parking, and the lack of progress in delivering better services in West Herts. I was pleased to hear her talk about integration of health and social care, something for which Liberal Democrats have continually campaigned. She had successfully introduced an integrated approach in her previous role in North Devon, and we hope her experience can be put to good use in West Hertfordshire, but why have the development plans made so little progress and what have the board members and the directors been doing all these years to improve efficiency, control budgets and raise standards?"

"The seeming lack of urgency on the part of the Trust to come up with a plan for the future of the old hospital site in Hemel Hempstead is something the residents of should not have to put up with for much longer " says Rabi Martins. "Residents have told me and my colleagues that they want more than just an Urgent Care Unit in the town. Hemel is a growing town and its people must have access to a range of hospital services to meet their needs"

Ms Kelly also spoke about the problems that the Trust was facing recruiting nursing staff. She told Rabi and Nigel that shortages of locally trained nursing staff was such that the Trust had to constantly seek nurses from other countries. It appears one of the reasons for this is the failure by NHS England to invest in the training of nurses and doctors. If elected in May, both Rabi and Nigel are committed to improving our NHS both locally and nationally, and are pleased that the Liberal Democrat manifesto includes a commitment to meet the £8billion shortfall in funding identified by NHS England chief, Simon Stevens.