Campaigners for new West Herts hospital to stage protest in Hemel Hempstead Town Centre
Campaigners for a new A&E hospital in West Hertfordshire are set to protest in Hemel Hempstead Town Centre this Spring.
West Herts NHS Hospitals Support Group are calling for a new hospital to be built on greenbelt land - and the decision by health bosses to instead refurbish the existing ones at Watford, Hemel Hempstead and St Albans, with the bulk of the £400million investment at Watford General.
The campaigners believe a central A&E facility in the region would help thousands access medical treatment more easily, and ease pressure on local NHS services.
"We are protesting for the build of a new fully functioning purpose-built modern NHS Hospital in a central location within West Hertfordshire," they said.
"This Hospital will cater for many future generations to come and would also improve our local NHS services in all areas for us.
"It’s our NHS and we should and will have a say from now on with regards of what goes on within our Hospitals walls."
The West Herts Hospitals Trust, which manages Hemel Hempstead hospital, estimated the cost of building a new facility would be about £700m - and NHS bosses ruled out the option early last year.
The campaigners added: "If they succeed with solely funding Watford's hospital refurbishment it will forever have to deal with the increasing population and over stretched infrastructure that the rest of West Hertfordshire will places on it no matter how much they improve the Hospitals services.
"Watford Hospital is right next door to a premiership football team's stadium and is packed in a densely populated town with limited access for paramedics and the people that need its services.
"Let’s push the people that have our money into making the right decision in order to bring a fully functioning NHS Hospital closer to not just one town but all the major areas in West Hertfordshire.
The protest is set to take place in Hemel Town Centre at 12pm on Saturday, May 16.
For more information visit their Facebook pageIn November 2019, The New Hospital Campaign (NHC) successfully raised £20,000 to take health bosses to a judicial review.
Campaigners had already been told it could bring a case against Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) over plans to develop health services.
Now funds are secured, the High Court will review the CCG's decision not to hold a full public consultation.