St Albans & Harpenden Review

Hospital redevelopment shortlist finalised - updates and reaction

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Updates as major decision made on West Hertfordshire hospitals

By Nathan Louis

Last updated:

    New hospital campaigners have been dealt one final blow by health bosses in west Hertfordshire.
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  • The boards at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group have both agreed on a shortlist of redevelopment options - which does not include building a new hospital on a new central site.
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  • Hospital trust chief executive Christine Allen says today's decision marks a "milestone" and a "big step".
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  • She said: "This is an important day and a big step forward on our journey to better buildings and facilities. Our boards have now set us the challenge to secure the funding and deliver fantastic new facilities by 2025, or very soon after. We will work as hard and as quickly as we can because our patients and our staff deserve better than we can offer at present."
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  • A shortlist of four options was agreed - all of which centre around major redevelopment in Watford, with some investment at St Albans City and Hemel Hempstead hospitals.
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  • And one of these four options will be taken forward in 2021.
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  • The meeting took place virtually this morning, hosted by the trust and CCG, with local politicians and hospital campaigners in attendance.
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  • It was a big day for hospital campaigners who were hoping a greenfield site would be included in the final shortlist.
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  • Campaigners, many of whom are from the Hemel Hempstead area, want a new hospital built on a site central to Watford, St Albans, and Hemel Hempstead.
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  • But a central site always seemed unlikely after one failed to appear on a shortlist issued by the hospital trust earlier this month.
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  • The hospital trust has consistently said it prefers to redevelop Watford General Hospital - with £50m investment at St Albans City and Hemel Hempstead hospitals.
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  • The trust has £400 million government funding but could get as much as £590m to spend - but the trust has said this would still not be enough to build a hospital on a new site.
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  • And an independent review of six sites published last month concluded building a hospital on four sites - in Kings Langley, Chiswell Green, Park Street, and Leverstock Green, would not be completed by 2025 - a deadline the government has reportedly set the trust to build its new facilities.
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  • Follow our live blog for further updates and all the reaction to this decision.