MP tells Parliament that public have been “misled” over health services

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Health bosses “misled” the public over changes to hospital services in Hemel Hempstead, MP Sir Mike Penning told Parliament last week.

In a special adjournment debate, Mr Penning made a series of criticisms of local NHS leaders.

And he questioned the current consultation on the Urgent Treatment Centre.

Mr Penning asked his 
fellow MPs: “When there is no consultation, what do we do?

“Do we just sit back and say, ‘Okay,’?

“Some kind of measure has to be taken when consultation continually gets ignored or does not happen at all.”

Mr Penning’s concerns included the closure of Hemel Hospital’s A&E in 2009, and the temporary overnight closure of the Urgent Care Centre in 2016 which has not been lifted.

He added: “What 
recourse is there for me, as the MP, and for my constituents when we are misled – I know that I have privilege, but I am using the word 
‘misled’—by a senior NHS management team about what is going to happen to the urgent care service?

“I am talking about when what the team says turns out to be completely 
untrue. What recourse is there so that we can start to rebuild some trust in my constituency?”

Parliamentary privilege means that MPs say cannot be sued for something they say in the House of 
Commons, and journalists cannot be sued for reporting what they say.

Health minister Stephen Barclay told Mr Penning that he could not comment on any ongoing consultations.