A campaign group committed to keeping vital healthcare services in Hemel Hempstead has welcomed comments from the NHS’ new chief executive about smaller community hospitals.
Former vice president of US private health firm UnitedHealth Simon Stevens, who officially took up the top dog spot at the NHS in April, told the Daily Telegraph he wanted to move away from centralised hospital policy towards facilities serving smaller communities.
He said smaller hospitals have an important role to play, especially in the care of the elderly – a view which was commended by the Dacorum Hospital Action Group.
Chairman of the group Betty Harris said: “Simon Stevens is to be congratulated on his backing for more local hospitals. He states that, ‘hospitals serving smaller communities were sustainable’ and goes on further to say that there needed to be new models of care built around smaller local hospitals. We feel this is brilliant news.”
The non-politically affiliated action group aims to remind the community that Hemel Hempstead’s hospital site remains open, albeit with fewer services than were available in the past. The facility’s A & E unit, children’s and maternity services, stroke unit were among a host of services that were decommissioned.
Ms Harris continued: “Any Dacorum resident should be aware that they are very welcome to join us and give us their views on health needs and the news that we are to have a stall in the Marlowes late in June gives a good opportunity for everyone to have their say.”
The group’s next meetnig takes place on Wednesday evening at 7.30pm in the Education Centre at Hemel Hempstead Hospital, on Hillfield Road.