Sir Mike Penning MP attended a virtual meeting of the West Herts Hospital’s Stakeholder Reference Group. During the meeting and following pressure from local campaigners, the West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust admitted it has been told it can now bid for £590million.
Sir Mike said:
“This is fantastic news; it means that a new hospital on a central site is really affordable. Numerous new hospitals are being built across the country on similar budgets.
“The Trust can no longer hide behind the ‘there is not enough money’ excuse to reject the new site option.
“It is obvious that a new site would be easier and quicker than any disastrous attempt to renovate the crumbling Watford General Hospital whilst trying to keep it operational at the same time.
“Quite simply, this is a great opportunity and the Trust would be foolish not to grasp it.”
Earlier yesterday, in the House of Commons, Sir Mike called for a Parliamentary debate on the management of NHS Trusts and their lack of accountability to the public they serve.
In the Commons, he said:
“Many Members of this House have said to me that they feel frustrated that they cannot hold their own local health trusts to account when things like this are going on.
“This is nothing to do with the frontline—it is nothing to do with the brilliant work that has been going on over years and in respect of covid; it is to do with the management of trusts and how we can hold them to account.”