MPs press for answers on the future of Royston Hospital

PUBLISHED: 10:20 01 April 2010 | UPDATED: 16:18 11 May 2010

Andrew Lansley and Oliver Heald with Mary Quinn, Anne Richmond, and Stuart Bloom

Andrew Lansley and Oliver Heald with Mary Quinn, Anne Richmond, and Stuart Bloom

CROW country s two MPs came together to press for answers on the future of Royston Hospital. Royston MP Oliver Heald visited the hospital with South Cambridgeshire representative Andrew Lansley, who is also shadow health secretary, for talks with official

CROW country's two MPs came together to press for answers on the future of Royston Hospital.

Royston MP Oliver Heald visited the hospital with South Cambridgeshire representative Andrew Lansley, who is also shadow health secretary, for talks with officials from NHS Hertfordshire primary care trust (PCT).

The future of the hospital has been in doubt for several months due to a review of intermediate care beds in Hertfordshire. This led to fears in the town that the hospital may be deemed unnecessary, and shut down.

The two parliamentarians discussed plans for the hospital with the chairman of Hertfordshire NHS, Stuart Bloom, Simon Rouse, director of strategic planning, NHS Hertfordshire, and Heather Moulder, managing director of Hertfordshire Community Health Services.

They then toured some of the hospital's 34 clinics with matron Anne Richmond.

"It was good to have an opportunity to talk further with the management of the local health service about the future of Royston Hospital," said Mr Heald.

"I am disappointed still not to have a solid assurance about the future of this important facility."

Doubt over the hospital's future led to The Crow launching the Hands off Our Hospital campaign last year, to emphasise to the PCT the importance of its clinics to the Royston community.

Mr Lansley said: "I was pleased to accompany Oliver and to visit this hospital which is also used by my constituents in South Cambridgeshire. It is a much valued resource, obviously doing a good job for its patients."

Royston's county councillor, Fiona Hill, attended a workshop on changes to the intermediate care system last week.

She told the Royston town meeting: "It looked at intermediate care generally, but not at Royston Hospital specifically and no decision has been made. I'm told we will be kept informed."

Speaking in the House of Commons in February, health minister Phil Hope said that the PCT would begin "formal engagement with stakeholders about the future of intermediate care" in Royston in May or June this year.

However, details of this have yet to be announced.

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