23. July 2012 15:48
A Stevenage independent sector treatment centre is facing pressure to close after reports that only 50% of its patients are treated within 18 weeks.
Two local Conservative MPs have called for Clinicenta, part of the Carillion group, to lose its contract running Lister Hospital’s Surgicentre (pictured).
The company claims the long average wait time per patient is an artefact of its recent focus on “eliminating patients with long waits”.
Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland said “time has run out” for Clinicenta and it “should not be involved” in providing surgery.
McPartland and Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps recently met Health Minister Simon Burns to discuss the performance of the centre, which was criticised by the CQC in April.
NHS Hertfordshire had “worked very closely with Clinicenta” to improve the service, said the trust’s Chief Executive Jane Halpin.
“We will continue to take the necessary measures to ensure services to the public are safe and that standards are met,” she added. “We also expect the CQC to be issuing their determination, following further assessments, in the near future.”
A spokeswoman for Clinicenta said the surgery centre was “eliminating patients with long waits” – as a result, over 50% of the patients it had seen in the last month had waited over 18 weeks, but in reality “waiting lists are reducing”.