Hemel Hempstead MP tables motion on new hospital in Parliament

Hemel Hempstead MP, Sir Mike Penning, has tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament calling for a new acute hospital on a new site for west Hertfordshire.

Thursday, 16th July 2020, 3:05 pm
Updated Friday, 17th July 2020, 8:44 am

Sir Mike Penning wants West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust to build a new hospital in a location that is central to Hemel Hempstead, Watford and St Albans.

As part of his campaign, he has tabled an Early Day Motion, which means the idea should be debated in Parliament at the earliest opportunity.

The Motion reads: "That this House notes that the acute hospital in Watford was the first hospital to be built under the reign of Queen Victoria; further notes that the hospital has since been developed in an ad hoc manner and that the deterioration of its facilities has made it harder for the excellent doctors, nurses and auxiliary staff to carry out their work; notes that there is a lack of affordable parking facilities for staff, patients and visitors as a result of its location next to a Premier League football club; recognises the further pressure put on the hospital's facilities following the closure of acute services at St Albans and Hemel Hempstead which were opposed by the majority of local residents; and calls on the Government to halt the taxpayer-funded redevelopment of the Watford site and welcome the news that £590m is available for a new acute hospital on a greenfield site that can serve all of the growing population of West Hertfordshire."

Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning

Sir Mike Penning said: “I will continue to use every opportunity to put pressure on the West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust to see common sense. It is obvious to everyone else that trying to upgrade or even rebuild the hospital on the existing site will be nigh on impossible whilst keeping it fully operational.

"By opting for a new site, the Trust could equally serve the people of Hemel Hempstead, Watford and St Albans with easy access, plenty of space for expansion and offer free (and level) car parking for staff, patients and visitors alike.

“It is great news that the Trust can now bid for £590 million. It is time to do the right thing and get on with it.

“I understand Watford residents may be worried they will lose their hospital, but there is no reason why they cannot keep some non-acute services on the Vicarage Road site.

“I urge all neighbouring MPs to back my Early Day Motion.”

The West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust say the option for a new hospital on a new site is on a list of possibilities.

Helen Brown, deputy chief executive for the West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: ““We are aware that the mention of potential larger investment is of interest to those who want to see an all new hospital on a new site.

"This option will be part of our long list and will be subject to the same rigorous process as the other possibilities we are looking at.

"The Department of Health and Social Care has been clear that we should not consider any options that significantly increase the timescale for delivery of the scheme beyond 2025.

"Given the very poor condition of some of our buildings, it is essential that improvements are delivered in the fastest possible time.”

She added: “In the meantime we continue to make improvements to our existing estate, including a multi-storey car park, which has an expected completion date of spring 2022.”

For more information on the trust’s redevelopment plans, visit: www.westhertshospitals.nhs.uk/about/healthierfutureforwestherts.asp.