New hospital plans: MP Mike Penning says the solution is common sense - and more cash

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“Disgusting and ludicrous,” was the verdict of Mike Penning MP, after health bosses rejected proposals for a new hospital in West Herts.

The Hemel Hempstead MP reacted in the strongest terms after last week’s Gazette front page, which revealed that plans for a new hospital on greenbelt land had been rejected .

Now he is calling for the nation’s health chiefs to unlock extra cash so that a new facility canbe built.

Mr Penning said: “I’ve set up a petition to call on NHS England to inject some common sense into this and put some money forward to build a new state-of-the-art hospital to serve this rapidly growing part of the country.

“An out-of-town site, near Junction 20 of the M25, would serve all communities in West Hertfordshire, in particular the three large, and growing, towns of Hemel Hempstead, Watford and St Albans.

“And it would be strategically located for Heathrow, north-west London and Luton.”

Mr Penning also targeted his ire on the bosses atWest Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust, which runs Hemel, St Albans and Watford hospitals and is currently in special measures.

He said: “The Commissioning Group have claimed that the new hospital option isn’t cost-effective, but they’ve made that decision while saying they still have to check their sums. Instead, they are putting their faith – and our health – in a hospital trust that is in special measures with a management team that is, frankly, not fit for purpose.

“Nothing to do with health provision in West Herts shocks me anymore.”