New general hospital for West Herts 'ruled out' in meeting

For the first time the Hospitals Trust and the CCG completely ruled out any chance of West Herts having a new, acute general hospital.

All the options on the table involve rebuilding and refurbing the existing Watford site, with variables in terms of what they do with St Albans and Hemel hospitals.

Hemel Hempstead Hospital

Hemel Hempstead Hospital

They ruled out a new hospital within the first five minutes of the presentation.

David Evans , the Director of Commissioning for HVCCG said, unequivocally: "A new single site emergency and planned care hospital is now not a feasible option…. Moving emergency care from Watford is not an option because it exceeds the affordability limits."

His announcement was greeted with murmurs of ‘Oh no’ from the public.

The meeting, attended by approximately 100 people, heard that consultation and evaluation will now go forward, with the timetable of early summer for a completed proposal of how to spend the £350million the trust and the CCG believe will be allocated to them later in the year.

They anticipate the building work at Watford starting in 2022 to 2023, with the first of new buildings at Watford on stream by 2025.

Robert Scott, from the New Hospital Campaign, who has done detailed work on the realistic costs of the work involved, told the meeting that the total amount, £350 million, would have to be spent of two new blocks alone at Watford.

Ron Glatter said "We know it’s not affordable to rebuild Watford General Hospital for £350 million.

"A new hospital would be a far cheaper, better option."