Council leaders from Watford, Three Rivers and St Albans, as well as MPs for Watford and St Albans have written to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, to request an update on funding for hospital redevelopment plans.
West Herts Hospital Trust which comprises of Watford General, Hemel Hempstead and St Albans City Hospitals has been identified by the government as a ‘pathfinder’ in the New Hospital Programme, meaning it has been promised money to deliver new facilities. The council leaders and MPs are concerned that, ‘progress at a national level has stalled and that there is uncertainty about whether the funding will be made available to deliver the improvements that are urgently needed.’
The Trust has worked closely with local authorities and MPs to bring forward a proposal which will benefit the whole of West Hertfordshire and deliver new facilities in a timely manner. The money was initially promised on the basis that any new facilities had to be delivered by 2025.
Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, coordinated the letter and said, “Redevelopment of the hospital is an important and much needed investment that will benefit everyone who uses Watford General. The fact that there has been no progress on this in the last few months is very worrying for all of us who have worked so hard to bring forward this excellent proposal.
“At a time when our health services have been under increased scrutiny, we can’t afford to let this project be delayed any longer. That’s why I got local leaders together to call for an important re-commitment of funding from the government. This is a really important issue that goes beyond party politics. The government must deliver the much needed new hospital facilities that our residents have been promised, without any further delays.”
- Letter sent to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, is available here.