West Herts Hospitals Trust calling on St Albans residents to join stakeholder group on new buildings

West Herts Hospitals Trust wants to hear from you about its proposed new hospital sites. Photo: Dann

West Herts Hospitals Trust wants to hear from you about its proposed new hospital sites. Photo: Danny Loo. - Credit: Archant

West Herts Hospitals Trust is calling on St Albans residents to get involved with a consultation to shape its new hospital buildings.

The final push for consultees comes as the deadline approaches on Tuesday, June 9.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last September that West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust was in the first wave of the government’s new ‘Hospital Infrastructure Programme’ (known as ‘HIP One’).

A spokeswoman said: “While COVID-19 has halted many of our services, the hospital redevelopment project is still ongoing. We are currently working on our Outline Business Case (OBC) and want to engage further with our local communities to ensure that we can use feedback from the populations we serve to shape our plans.

“We have set up a recruitment campaign to create a stakeholder reference group which will help us to engage more deeply and inform our decision-making. Examples of this would be to work with us on the redesign of specific services. We have extended the deadline to June 9, which is soon!”

The trust’s plans include planning treatments that are local to individuals, so that patients would only need to visit a hospital where facilities are unavailable elsewhere.

A spokeswoman added: “When you need a consultation, we will try to make that appointment available at a GP practice or other community facility, or even at your home by phone, video call or other technology.

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“Our experience during the COVID-19 outbreak has shown us that it is possible to provide support to many patients without face-to-face appointments. This is more convenient for patients and saves the NHS money.

“The reason for telling you about how patients are being cared for in new ways is that this affects the kind of buildings we will need in the future.

“Planning new hospital services and buildings will take into account how healthcare has changed and will continue to change, as we embrace the latest clinical and technological best practice.”

The next step in the process is for the trust to put forward its Outline Business Case, which will set out a detailed plan.

It will contain the results from a review of the site options available. A key factor in deciding how suitable a site is will be how quickly it can be developed. Another key deciding factor is whether the site can be developed within the available funding.

Boards will consider views from clinical staff, from patients and from the public.

A part of the public engagement will include a reference group, who will be able to engage more deeply and inform decision making.

To be considered for the group, you must submit a form to register your interest, which can be found at westhertshospitals.nhs.uk/about/redevelopment, and emailed to westherts.redevelopment@nhs.net.

You can also email your thoughts and comments to the same email address.