Plans for a new hospital could become reality as health bosses rethink renovating an existing site in favour of a new build.

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group wrote to Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning saying they were revising plans to expand St Albans and Hemel Hempstead hospitals and considering a completely new building instead.

The new facility is proposed for a site between St Albans and Dacorum with refurbishment at Watford General continuing as planned.

The trust and CCG’s decision to reconsider their development plans was prompted by research put forward by the New Hospital Campaign urging a new hospital could be built “more quickly” and with less money. Mr Penning then wrote a letter presenting the findings.

Doctor Nicolas Small, chair of Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group, and professor Steve Barnett, chair of the West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust told Mr Penning in a letter “further work” was now being undertaken after discussions with NHS England and NHS Improvement.

The trust and CCG will hold series of “public briefing sessions” to discuss their decision with affected communities.

They will also meet with MPs Anne Main for St Albans, David Gauke for South West Hertfordshire and Bim Afolami for Hitchin and Harpenden.

The New Hospital Campaign welcomed the news.

Ron Glatter of the New Hospital Campaign said: “Why does the list of MPs chosen for the proposed meeting not include the MP for Watford, Richard Harrington?

“It suggests that they are still looking at our area as divided in two – Watford and the rest.

“As we have always argued this approach is disastrous, and we believe the regulators agree with us on that.

“West Hertfordshire must be looked at as a whole, with an integrated approach to acute and primary care, which has been missing so far.”

Mr Harrington said in response he meets with the chief executive of Watford General Hospital “every month”, and with the chief executive officer of Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group “regularly”.

He told the Watford Observer he is aware of what the proposals are and that they are confidential at this stage, and that he is in talks with ministers at the Department of Health.