Hospital campaigners given approval for legal challenge

The battle to have a brand new hospital built in West Hertfordshire has reached a major milestone.

Monday, 14th October 2019, 4:23 pm
Edie Glatter

The New Hospital Campaign has been granted permission by a High Court judge for a judicial review.

This means that there is a case to answer by local health bosses.

The challenge surrounds the calls for a new hospital to be built on greenbelt land - and the decision by health bosses to instead refurbish the existing hospital at Watford, Hemel Hempstead and St Albans, with the bulk of the investment at Watford General.

It is not a challenge to the conclusion by health bosses, but the way in which a decision has been made and the procedures followed.

Now they need to raise cash to support the legal fight.

Spokesman Edie Glatter said: "We are appealing to local residents, businesses and other organisations to support the campaign to help fund the legal case.

"A low costs cap has been agreed by the court because it is judged to be a matter of public interest and we have a very favourable arrangement in place with our legal team.

"We still require to meet our target of £20,000 of which supporters have so far generously donated more than £8,500."

Campaigners describe Watford Hospital as being in a "dire state", and have produced detailed studies which they say prove that building a new hospital would both provide a better service and be more cost-effective, particularly with the projected population growth for the area over the coming decades.

Mrs Glatter added: “We effectively have a once-and-for-all opportunity to secure the new state-of-the-art accessible hospital that we so desperately need.

"The alternative would mean that we will leave a legacy of poor hospital healthcare facilities for years to come.

"The decision to keep the dysfunctional Watford Hospital estate will not be reversed in the foreseeable future if the best part of £400 million is spent on it this time round.

"Please make a donation and support our legal challenge”.

Donations can be made, anonymously if you wish, via the crowdfunding site or direct to the dedicated bank account DHAG-New Hospital Campaign, Sort Code 30-80-49, Account number 34945668.