Hospital friends respond to NHS

THE League of Friends of Royston and District Hospital have outlined their vision for the facility’s future.

NHS Hertfordshire is consulting on plans for the site, with the Friends calling for a new hospital to be built on the existing site.

And they want the existing hospital kept in use while a new one is built – which may take up to three years.

Guy Garfit, of the Friends, said: “The committee firmly believes that the right place to locate the new hospital is on the current site, that the new building should be built to the south of the current hospital, and that a new entrance to the site from the A10 should be created adjacent to where the new hospital will be, and that the current hospital should be retained whilst the new facility is built.”

The Primary Care Trust plans on finding a private care home operator to help run the site and pay for redevelopment, a move welcomed by the Friends.

Suggestions of sites where outpatient care could be moved to were put forward at a Conversation Cafe at Royston Golf Club, but the Friends have picked their own option, claiming the other options would be too expensive.

An �800,000 plan to extend the health centre has been mooted, with a new unit being adapted in an industrial unit, and a temporary solution on the existing site suggested, which would cost just under �1m.

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Concerns were also raised over jobs.

Mr Garfit added: “Royston Hospital has a talented, dedicated team of staff who are currently doing a superb job, as confirmed by the visit of the Patient Environment Advisory Team in January.

“Ensuring that the old hospital continues while the new one is built will mean that this team is not disbanded, and can continue to provide the current service to intermediate care patients, wherever they are located during the transitional period, such as St George’s Nursing Home.”

The consultation on the PCT’s plans closed today with a decision expected soon.