Prime Minister urged to make a speedy decision on funding for new hospital in West Hertfordshire

County Council leader has written to Boris Johnson

By Deborah Price, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 24th March 2022, 4:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th March 2022, 4:02 pm

County Council leader Cllr Richard Roberts is to write to the Prime Minister, to call for a speedy decision on funding for a new hospital in west Hertfordshire.

Back in October 2019, PM Boris Johnson pledged £400m for plans to redevelop Watford General Hospital. But so far no funding has been made available.

Since then the West Herts Hospitals Trust has drawn up £1billion plans to build a new 18-storey hospital building on the Watford site - as well as developing facilities at Hemel Hempstead and St Albans City hospitals.

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Cllr Richard Roberts

Meanwhile health campaigners have continued to call for a new hospital to be built on a new greenfield site.

At a meeting of the county council's Health Scrutiny Committee earlier this month councillors requested that Cllr Roberts write to the PM, to call for the full funding to be made available for the redevelopment 'as a matter of urgency'.

And - backed by a majority of the committee - they agreed that the Trust's plans were the best and fastest way to deliver the much needed hospital and health facilities in west Hertfordshire.

Following that meeting, Cllr Roberts has told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that he does now plan to write to the PM.

But while he will stress the need for the funding for a new hospital, he will not express a preference for its location.

And in the same letter he will also highlight the importance of funding for the redevelopment of the Mount Vernon Cancer Care Centre.

Cllr Roberts told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: "A replacement hospital for the Watford General Hospital has been needed for more than 20 years.

"And it's about time a decision was made for the funding and for the location of that hospital."