No new hospital - but services at St Albans City set to stay put
PUBLISHED: 06:00 06 October 2016
Hospital services look set to remain at St Albans City after health chiefs agreed to push ahead with the retention of facilities on the site and at Watford General.
But it means that a campaign for a new hospital on a greenfield site to serve West Herts is unlikely to be pursued.
In a joint statement on Tuesday, the Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the West Herts Hospitals Trust announced it had decided to go forward with a scheme to retain services on the existing Watford and St Albans sites with some redevelopment on both of them and possibly a complete rebuild at Watford.
That was one of three options for the future of hospital services which was being considered as part of Your Care, Your Future, an in-depth look at the the way in which hospital and health serices should be provided in the future.
The options were a new hospital in a central location, centralising acute care at Watford or retaining emergency, maternity and other existing services at Watford with day surgery, complex diagnostics, cancer care and outpatients at St Albans City.
Costs of the diffent options were among the areas which were examined with the current financial climate and likely low levels of capital funding taken into considseration.
Patient representatives and local clinicians who met to hear about what options were being taken forward were told that work on the possibility of building a new hospital ona greenfield site near Junction 20 of the M25 - which had been put forward by the Dacorum Hospital Action Group (DHAG) - suggested that it would not be the best way forward either in terms of costs or other benefits such as travel times.
But some additional analysis will be being carried out in coming weeks to ensure that not pursuing the option is the best way forward.
Dr Nicolas Small, chair of Herts Valleys CCG, said: “I am pleased that we are making progress and that we have got something we can take forward to the next crucial stage. “In order to be in a position to make a case for some essential capital investment, we need a credible and realistic plan. I really think we have one here and I am glad.”
He added: “I understand that this might be disappointing for those who were hoping for a hospital on a different site - but I hope everyone can rally behind
the approach and all work together to achieve the best we can for the people of West Hertfordshire.”