Royston Hospital: Labour party hit out at NHS

PUBLISHED: 11:31 19 January 2012

The party are sceptical about the plans

The party are sceptical about the plans

Archant

PROPOSALS on the future of Royston Hospital have been slammed as a “sleight of hand” attempt to introduce privatisation and an exercise in cost-cutting by The Royston Labour Party

The group says the NHS needs to be more transparent about its proposals.

“We are endlessly told that people are living longer and will need greater health care in the future,” said Labour Party spokesman Les Baker.

“It seems a contradiction to demolish a hospital before a proper alternative scheme is in place.

“The battle over the future of the hospital has gone on for almost 20 years with various plans being discussed – and always being resisted.

“We are not convinced that the proposals now being discussed will create a solution to future health care in our community.

“We accept the view that the hospital is no longer able to support modern expectations for clinical care.

“But this does not mean it is simply handed over to a private care provider who, we presume, will be looking for some kind of return on its investment.

“The whole idea behind the proposals seems to be a sleight of hand to introduce privatisation and an exercise in cost-cutting.”

The Royston Labour Party has also raised concerns that there is no assurance that a private home care provider is willing to take over the site to meet the costs to build a new hospital or invest in a long-term lease.

And it claims there is no guarantee should the site be purchased it will be only be used for care facilities.

The group also fears there is no assurance that NHS Hertfordshire will continue to look at the site to provide health care facilities rather than abandon plans, if a private care provider is not forthcoming, and simply sell the site for a commercial development.

Mr Baker added: “At the moment the consultation appears to suggest that whatever the outcome, there is already a done deal in place.”

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