Further to my letter in last week’s edition (‘Better hospital site’, September 14), I would just like the opportunity to respond to a few of the comments posted online to my letter.

READ MORE: Letter: Better hospital site

Firstly, I certainly don’t want a hospital in my own backyard and like most people, I try my best to keep away from them as much as possible!

Secondly, as an individual, I do not have the influence to delay West Herts Hospitals Trust’s redevelopment plans being approved and any request for a review by the NHS regulator, NHS Improvements, is down to their own assessment and information gathering.

I have asked for further information on affordability and clarity of assumptions from the trust they will have done so on the parameters set out by the government for approving large capital investment.

The hospital trust is also fighting for funding against other trusts hospital investment plans as they are part of the same Hertfordshire and West Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership.

Whether it be funding for a new A&E Hospital or major redevelopment of existing hospitals, decisions have to be made and the best presented case is essential to stand the best chance of winning the biggest investment.

New hospital campaigners argue that a new and more central West Herts A&E hospital would surely be deemed to be a better long-term investment than merely redeveloping any existing and dilapidated sites for obvious reasons.

West Herts Hospital Trust have decided to pursue the latter option and unfortunately this option is probably the best option to downscale for reasons of affordability so that another trust can stand a better chance of boasting the prize of having funding for a new A&E hospital.

In their defence, the problem that West Herts Hospitals Trust faces is that all the major settlements that make up West Herts can justifiably argue the case for being the main hub of acute and specialised hospital care.

Obviously, with unlimited funding, going back to the old days of having three A&E hospitals would be the ideal solution but times have moved on.

Understandably, Watford’s politicians and residents want to keep their A&E hospital regardless of any difficulties that residents outside of Watford have getting to and from Vicarage Road.

So what is my answer to this conundrum - my suggestion would be to build a new A&E hospital between St Albans and Hemel Hempstead and sell off the two existing and prime hospital sites in St Albans and Hemel to help fund it.

This should be deliverable within seven years. Then in parallel, press on with the redevelopment of Watford General Hospital which is estimated to take at least 12 years and use the new A&E hospital between Hemel Hempstead and St Albans to cover services as the redevelopment work at Watford General Hospital necessitates.

Having two A&E hospitals in West Herts would place West Herts in a better position to cope with the estimated 100,000 - 150,000 growth in population in the next 15 years.

This rapid growth in population will also increase traffic on our already busy roads, so it will be even more important to have two major hospitals in West Herts to help alleviate gridlock around Vicarage Road and Watford in general. Planning for West Herts’ acute care services needs for the next 15 years starts now and not when the extra 100k to 150k residents have arrived!

Andy Love, St Albans