Trust's hospital plans branded 'grossly misleading' by campaign group
- Credit: Archant
A hospital campaign group has labelled West Herts Hospitals Trust's (WHHT) redevelopment plans as "grossly misleading".
Under the latest plans, 92 per cent of the approximately £590 million allotted for the redevelopment of Watford General, St Albans City and Hemel Hempstead hospitals will be given to Watford, with the other eight per cent divided between St Albans and Hemel.
In a statement, the New Hospital Campaign (NHC) said that both St Albans and Hemel Hempstead's hospitals "are in need of urgent maintenance and the money available will scarcely cover the minimum amount of work needed to keep the hospitals functioning decently".
Approximately £50 million is to be made available for St Albans City and Hemel Hempstead hospitals. The NHC feels is "quite wrong" that the Trust's engagement programme, Your Care, Your Views, is based on the narrative of a 'three site model', when the money isn't being equally split.
"New purpose, same old terrible buildings," Jean Ritchie from the NHC said. "How can the trust possibly claim the three hospitals are equally important when they don’t even mention the stark funding split?
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"They are also massively overstating the work they will be able to do at Watford, pushing the idea that it is going to be a ‘new’ hospital. To achieve what they want to do, they will need the government to cough up another £190 million on top of the £400 million that’s on the table.
"Are they likely to get this funding in these difficult economic times? And if they don’t, what is their plan B? The public must be told.
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"And even if they do, independent research shows it will take far longer than they are claiming and won’t be finished until the end of the decade. While it’s going on, we, the patients, will have to battle our way across a building site, with all the noise and dust, to get to our only acute hospital."
She continued to state that a new A+E hospital built on a clear, central site would serve the people west Hertfordshire better.
To take part in the Your Care, Your Views survey, visit research.net/r/w-FXVZV6C. Submissions close on March 24.