Health chiefs challenged on future of Hertfordshire hospital services
PUBLISHED: 15:42 27 October 2020 | UPDATED: 09:23 28 October 2020
West Hertfordshire health chiefs are to be challenged in the courts this week, when a judicial review will consider plans for future hospital services.
The Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (HVCCG) and West Herts Hospitals Trust are drawing-up detailed plans for the redevelopment of hospital services.
Last month the CCG board agreed the focus of their plans should be existing sites – with the bulk of redevelopment planned for Watford General, with some services in St Albans City and Hemel Hempstead.
Health campaigner Ron Glatter – on behalf of the New Hospital Campaign – questioned whether the option of a new purpose-built hospital was fully and fairly considered in earlier stages of the process.
This week his concerns will be put to a judicial review, after HVCCG and the West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust (WHHT) formally backed plans to bid for £350 million of NHS funding.
Mr Glatter applied for the judicial review so the decision-making of the CCG and WHHT could be scrutinised by the courts.
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He said: “I am pleased this is now expected to happen, and I look forward to putting our case.”
The challenge to the CCG’s decisions will focus on whether or not the CCG made the decisions ‘without holding the required public consultation’.
A Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group spokesperson said: “The claim is based on last year’s board decisions on the shortlist and preferred option for the redevelopment of hospital facilities in west Hertfordshire.
“We and our partners, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, are defending the claim.”
In the past 12 months the CCG and the WHHT have continued on a process to draw-up plans for hospital services. That bid is now expected to be for up to £590m.
They have been evaluating a number of options to determine which are affordable, provide value for money and can be delivered by 2025/6.
Options include proposals for a single purpose-built hospital on sites including the former Radlett Aerodrome or Chiswell Green – neither of which are owned by the Trust.
At a joint meeting of the CCG and the Trust boards earlier in October, both boards agreed to focus on plans to develop existing sites.
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