MP Anne Main and St Albans District Council react to hospital renovation plans

St Albans City Hospital. Photo: Danny Loo.

St Albans City Hospital. Photo: Danny Loo. - Credit: Archant

St Albans MP Anne Main and St Albans District Council have spoken in favour of the NHS’s proposals for west Herts hospital services,

West Herts Hospitals Trust (WHHT) and Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (HVCCG) have outlined their preferred option for the use of their allocated £350 million for hospital services, which will involve extensive renovations at Watford General and smaller development at St Albans city and Hemel Hempstead.

Following the announcement, Mrs Main said: "With some hesitation, I do welcome this outcome.

"I want to see a brand new hospital to replace Watford General but if the Trust and the CCG are adamant that the money is not available for that, then this is at least a step in the right direction.

"I made it absolutely clear when I spoke to the Trust and the CCG that St Albans City Hospital must be retained and significantly improved. I am pleased that, in supporting option one, we should get that investment into SACH.

"I don't want to see any further delay in this process. We should take advantage of the £350m available to us and press on with improving our healthcare services.

"While this option is not perfect, it is a sensible compromise that will see major improvements to St Albans and Watford Hospital."

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Despite campaigners calling for a new hospital central to west Herts, St Albans District Council leader Chris White also believes that renovating services at the three existing hospitals remains the best option.

He said: "This is unalloyed good news for people in the St Albans district.

"I was invited to give a presentation to the joint board meeting of the trust and the CCG and I am delighted that the consensus which emerged was firmly in favour of option one.

"This means that St Albans City Hospital will be retained and enhanced to include more elective surgery facilities. The hospitals in Watford and Hemel Hempstead will also see some significant improvement.

"We now hope this decision will meet the criteria set out by NHS England and that finally there will be some real investment in the hospital services in this part of the county."