Following considerable pressure from Grant Shapps, Welwyn Hatfield’s local MP, health bosses have decided to delay a proposed change in the opening hours of the QEII Hospital’s Urgent Care Centre.

The East and North Herts Clinical Commissioning Group have recently been consulting the public on whether to close the Urgent Care Centre at night time.

At an open meeting of the CCG’s governing body, the results of the public engagement process were presented. The findings showed that 58% of respondents disagreed with the proposals; and over two thirds of respondents who live in Welwyn Hatfield said that they disagree with the proposals.

The decision was made to delay the change in opening hours until 31st March 2020. In the meantime, usage levels of the UCC will be monitored to see if patients are able to use alternative services to treat issues at night time instead, and a more permanent decision will be made in the coming months.

Grant said of the decision: “This is a good start. Of course, I would much prefer to see the proposal scrapped permanently, but this is a sign that they are starting to understand what I have been telling them in letters and meetings since the proposals were announced. I live locally, so my family and I rely on this very service. Because of this, I understand exactly what the Urgent Care Centre means to people in Welwyn Hatfield, and I will continue to fight tooth and nail to protect it and other local services.”

Grant has been working hard to have the proposals scrapped since they were announced. You can read copies of his correspondence with the UCC at https://www.shapps.com/health-chiefs-promise-to-look-again-at-urgent-care-centre-operating-hours-following-meeting-with-mp/.