Hemel Hempstead MP, Sir Mike Penning, has written to local healthcare providers calling on them to include the new hospital option in their amended business case for the future of hospital services in west Hertfordshire.
Sir Mike has written to Professor Steve Barnett, Chair of West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust and Dr Nicolas Small, Chair of Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group. The West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust had submitted a Strategic Outline Case to NHS Improvement last year. This was focused on further investment in the Watford site with small scale investment in Hemel and St Albans. Now the Trust has been told to revisit and resubmit the case.
Sir Mike said:
“Local hospital campaigners have made an excellent case which proves beyond doubt that it will be far more cost effective – as well as beneficial for local residents – to build a new hospital on a new site rather than pump more money into the badly located Watford site.
“A new state-of-the-art hospital would have the benefit of being purpose-built, with opportunities to expand, ample car parking (which should be free and level!) and be in a good position for any major incidents on the M1, M25 or in north-west London.
“With the redevelopment of Crown Estate land close to Junction 8 of the M1 we have a golden opportunity for a great site. I urge the Trust to consider this option and any others that are central, accessible and available so we can all work together – the Trust, the CCG, MPs, elected representatives and campaigners – to get it built.”
Prof Ron Glatter of the New Hospital Campaign added:
“We are delighted that Sir Mike has sent this detailed letter which draws on the careful research work of our construction expert Robert Scott, who has warned of the dangers to patient safety in proceeding with the current plan. It is vital that the public are kept fully informed and involved before the revised plans are submitted”.