Tag Archive for Hertford

Hertford Urgent Care Centre closure – Tories did nothing

Cllr Tony Jackson’s meetings with his Tory colleagues reported in this week’s Mercury to discuss Hertford’s Urgent Care Centre are too little and far too late. It was on February 17th that the Evaluation Panel, including Tory Councillors to ‘represent’ the local community, voted unanimously to close the Urgent Care Centres in Hertford and Cheshunt. Yet only now, four months later, has Cllr Jackson done anything.

In April I went to 10 Downing Street to hand in a letter asking the Prime Minister to intervene to save Hertford’s Urgent Care Centre. Last month a health minister replied to me pointing out that closing the Urgent Care Centre was a local decision and that the Evaluation Panel had voted to close it. There was no reference to the Government’s NHS reforms or other excuse.

When Broxbourne’s Tory MP raised the issue of the closure of Cheshunt’s Urgent Care Centre in Parliament, as well as organising a protest march and petition, the Government again pointed to the Evaluation Panel vote as justification for its closure. But at least Cheshunt will have a Minor Injuries Unit and extra GP service funded by Tory led Broxbourne Council. And what was Mark Prisk MP doing to save Hertford’s Urgent Care Centre? Well; he did write a column in the Mercury attacking the local Labour Party about the issue.

So yes Cllr Jackson; I am emotional. The NHS matters to me, it matters to people in Hertford and its sickening the way that you and your Tory colleagues have let us down in East Herts. A little more action and emotion and Hertford would have got a better deal.

Future challenges facing Hertford and Stortford

There are many challenges facing Hertford and Stortford. Looking ahead I see four particular issues:

  • An aging population – there are a higher than average number of pensioner only households. Fuel poverty is a big concern as many pensioners are on low incomes in dwellings with high heating costs,
  • The need for more affordable housing within sustainable communities as the local population grows as more people move here for employment and the good quality of life in East Hertfordshire. We need to ask the question ‘Where will our children live?’,
  • The impact of climate change with higher levels of rainfall in shorter periods leading to flooding (central Hertford particularly) but other areas also. Summers will become hotter and longer. This will cause problems for older and other vulnerable people not used to the heat; with a knock on impact on health and social services
  • Transport capacity as more people move away from London but continue to commute to work in the centre.

Graham Nickson Delivers Petition for Urgent Care Centres to Number 10

‘Last, desperate attempt’ to save urgent care centres
By Martin Ford – Herts Mercury

CAMPAIGNERS from local Labour parties have made a “last, desperate attempt” to save the urgent care centres in Hertford and Cheshunt, taking their pleas to the Prime Minister.

A letter was hand delivered to 10 Downing Street by Cllr Malcolm Aitken (Lab, Waltham Cross) and Graham Nickson, parliamentary spokesman for the Hertford and Stortford Labour Party, asking for the Government to intervene.

The letter highlights the anticipated extra pressure on already overburdened GPs and A&E departments and the distance patients would have to travel.

They also pour scorn on the reason given for the centres’ closure – that too many patients were using it instead of their GPs or A&E.

“We believe that it is outrageous to blame local people for the closure of popular services that are filling a vital need,” the letter read.

“Whilst you conduct a ‘listening period’ in order to respond to concerns about the Government’s proposed NHS reforms, we hope that you will also listen to local people in Broxbourne and East Herts and stop the Urgent Care Centres from being closed.”

Speaking after delivering the letter, Mr Nickson said: “The Prime Minister needs to know that the councillors who voted to close the centres do not represent the views of local people.”

Cllr Aitken added: “I’m delighted to be handing a letter to Number 10 on behalf of the residents of Broxbourne, to hopefully get the Prime Minister to intervene.

“Let’s hope they listen to the people of this borough, and in Hertford and Stortford.”