Tuesday, 3 January 2012

valentines flowers men - Hertfordshire surgicentre blighted by operation delays

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The £47m Surgicentre, based at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage, became fully operational in October, to treat thousands of patients across the area, including many in Welwyn Hatfield.

But the centre, which boasts six operating theatres, inpatient beds and outpatient services, has been blighted by cancelled operations and delayed appointments.

The full scale of problems at the centre – which is run by private company Clinicenta in partnership with NHS Hertfordshire – emerged at a meeting of the county council’s health scrutiny committee.

Cllr Sharon Taylor said: “I’ve had people report to me, people who have had surgery, saying it’s back to the old days.

“People are turning up for operations, waiting all day, then being sent home.

“One person, who is a teacher, had taken the time off and got people to cover. He went down, waited all day and was then told he wasn’t having the operation on that date and was told to come back later that week.”

Although it is based at the Lister, the surgicentre has no affiliation to the East and North Herts NHS Trust, which runs the hospital.

And, despite the trust having handled a number of complaints, Cllr Taylor said this meant it was powerless to act.

She added: “They don’t have any say over it, and are just as unhappy as we are.

“If not through Lister Hospital, how do we get this sorted out? What do people do if they want to complain?”

Beverly Flowers, director of systems management at NHS Hertfordshire, admitted there had been “teething problems” in the first few months.

She said: “Transferring services from one provider to another is a pretty complicated process and we know there have been some teething problems during this early stage of the new arrangements.

“The surgicentre team are working hard to make sure that changes to appointments are kept to the absolute minimum and that when it has been necessary to make changes patients are kept fully informed.”

The East and North Herts NHS Trust said it was unable to comment.
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