A radical plan to tackle both healthcare and house-building in Hemel Hempstead has been proposed.
Councillor Ron Tindall has suggested a property swap deal between council chiefs and the NHS.
Dacorum Borough Council could take ownership of the current Hemel Hempstead Hospital site - and in return the NHS could take over the currently-vacant Market Square and former bus station sites.
Cllr Tindall said: “The Clinical Commissioning Group have indicated that they want to create a new Hemel base, and that they want it on the site of the existing facilities.
“But this offers a range of advantages for the NHS and the council - and for the people of Hemel.”
Cllr Tindall pointed to the easy access of the new site, whereas the current hospital is “halfway up a hill”; he also suggested that the plan could mean less disruption for patients, as work on the new hospital could be done while care continued at the current site; and he believes any development on the council-owned land might not happen for several years anyway, while residents would be keen to see health improvements as soon as possible.
While hospital bosses have not yet heard anything officially about the idea, they admitted that it was a possibility.
A spokesperson said: “We welcome new ideas about providing a wide range of health services from a location that has good access and provides a great environment for patients.
“The timing of this idea is of interest because we will be focusing this year on what services should remain at, move from or to Hemel Hempstead.
“We look forward to hearing more.”
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