Your Care, Your Views phase two: have your say on hospital redevelopments in west Hertfordshire

The engagement programme aims to gather feedback from patients, local residents, carers and staff

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 5:14 pm

West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust has launched the second phase of its engagement programme as it progresses plans for its three hospitals, ahead of significant funding for new and refurbished buildings.

The first phase set out the rationale; why and how care will change as well as highlighting services that will move from their current sites.

Around 40 online meetings, engagement documents and a survey were also part of phase one.

West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust has launched the second phase of its engagement programme

There were more than 1,000 views of the online meetings, many of which were co-hosted by the trust’s leading clinicians and just under 1,700 people completed the survey. All of this material can be found on the trust’s website.

Phase two provides an opportunity for local people to attend virtual meetings to hear feedback from the survey and to learn how the trust is responding.

Public engagement meetings

The meetings will take place on:

> Wednesday, May 19 - 9am till 10am

> Monday, May 24 - 1pm till 2pm.

> Wednesday, May 26 - 4pm ill 5pm.

Full details are available on the trust's website.

The meetings will also update on the redevelopment plans. Currently, the timescale is for the work to the buildings – which include a transformation of the Watford General Hospital site – to be completed by 2025, or soon after.

Specifically, during phase two, the trust will:

- create an engagement document and a presentation which provides detail on which services are moving where

- provide case studies from a patient perspective which provide greater insight into the ‘one stop’ clinic model and the proposed new way of managing routine follow-up appointments

- reassure the public that in-person appointments will still be available and that moving to online appointments is not compulsory

- carry out targeted research to determine whether results from a random and representative population sample differ from those expressed in the survey

- conduct in-depth research with current/recent patients whose services are set to change location

- continue to broaden and deepen reach through community networks and ensure that opportunities to engage are offered to those with protected characteristics.

A report summarising the feedback is available here.

Trust is 'really grateful' for feedback

Deputy Chief Executive, Helen Brown said: “We are really grateful for time people gave to attend meetings and complete our survey.

"We were pleased to see that the ‘one stop’ model of care we are moving to was highlighted as being important to our patients.

"We plan to invest heavily in our diagnostic facilities across our three sites and this will lead to appointments where patients can have appointments which combine diagnostics, rapid results and a consultation.

“The feedback from the survey also underlined what we had heard loud and clear already – there are concerns around travel to hospital.

"We hope to reduce the burden by converting appointments to online, where this works for patients, to provide a range of care locally and by combining as many steps of treatment into one appointment where possible.

"However, with some locations for more specialist services changing across our three sites, it is important to understand where we can address worries about getting to and from all of our hospitals.”

The trust is setting up a travel and access reference group for local people who want to work with the trust on access to its three sites. If you would like to express your interest in joining this group please email [email protected]

A new multi-storey car park, which is set to open next spring, will improve parking at Watford General Hospital.

In terms of the need for new buildings, which was also highlighted as a key issue, the trust is approaching completion of an outline business case which will be submitted to the government this autumn to bid for funds.

Its plans include for each of the hospitals to have a more clearly defined role.

Emergency, inpatient and complex care will remain at Watford; Hemel Hempstead Hospital will be the centre for planned medical care and long term conditions and St Albans City Hospital will be the centre for planned surgery and cancer care.

Urgent care services and some outpatient services will be provided at all three sites.

Diagnostic facilities will be significantly upgraded at all three hospitals and the latest digital technology will be incorporated.