Demolition has begun to make way for new operating theatres and a surgical procedure room at St Albans City Hospital.

Work began yesterday (Monday, February 12), with doors set to open in winter this year.

An entire new block will be constructed next to the current theatre suite.

Shorter waiting times have been promised, with patients across Hertfordshire and west Essex invited to choose the facility for a number of procedures.

These procedures include non-complex orthopaedic surgery, spinal injections or ear, nose and throat (ENT) operations.

An "extremely low risk of cancellations or delays" has also been promised, due to schedules being unaffected by emergency surgery.

More than 4,400 patients will be treated each year, with around half going home on the same day and others staying for a maximum of just one night.

Those who need more specialised care will be seen at Lister Hospital in Stevenage, Princess Alexandra in Harlow or Watford General.

Patients who could be treated at St Albans, but wish to be treated at a hospital closer to their home, may do so - but may also face longer waiting times.

Additional parking has been planned for the site, but will be at a premium during the demolition stage.

Staff from all three hospital trusts will work together to form a combined theatre team, which will be bolstered by new recruits.

Roles at the new ‘elective care hub’ are being advertised to existing staff this month, with external adverts to follow later this year.


Michael Meredith, director of strategy and estates at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, who leads the project, said: “It’s fantastic to see the demolition start, as it takes us a step nearer to being able to run an efficient and professional surgical facility for patients across Hertfordshire and west Essex.

“By treating patients sooner, we can improve their experiences and outcomes.

"This is a real step change in the way we provide care for our communities.”