Campaigners for a new hospital have raised serious doubts about a review of possible sites for hospital redevelopment in West Herts. The review, called a Site Feasibility Study, has been
commissioned by the West Herts Hospital Trust (WHHT) and is being used in the selection of a shortlist of sites for the project, due to be decided on 1 October.
However, the New Hospital Campaign (a joint campaign between DHAG, Berkhamsted and St. Albans Campaigners) are concerned that the study is led by a company wholly owned by Royal Free London Trust, which has a close and increasing working relationship with West Herts Trust. Therefore, campaigners are concerned that this is not an independent study at all and is weighted in favour of the trust and not local residents.
For example, a study of one site at Watford General is rated as highly suitable for re-development, despite there being a large sewer that runs underneath the site and notes that suggest there is a likely risk of contamination once work starts.
This example and others are good reasons why a new build on a clear central site would be far better value for money for local residents. The trust believe that re-development could be completed by 2025, but NHC's buildings expert team think this is unrealistic compared with the option of a new hospital on a clear site.
The full study commissioned by WHHT can be read at the link below, followed by a link to our technical appraisal of the study by a very experienced construction specialist, questions about the independence of the study and our full press release.
We asking members of the public who would be interested and can be involved in fighting against these decisions that we believe are not in the public interest, to please get in touch via the Contact Us form with any information you may have.
Full Feasibility Study
NHC Technical Appraisal
NHC Questions on Independence of Study
NHC Full Press Release
NEW HOSPITAL CAMPAIGN
REACHES TARGET OF FUNDS
NEEDED FOR LEGAL ACTION
The NHC are proud to announce that we have succeeded in raising the £20,000 we need to mount a judicial review against the Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (HVCCG). A High Court judge will now review the HVCCG’s decision not to hold a full public consultation on their and the West Herts Hospitals Trust’s proposals for the long-term development of the hospital estate. They have planned to retain A+E services at Watford General, patching up less than half the dilapidated and crumbling estate there, spending a minimal amount on St. Albans City Hospital and turning Hemel Hempstead Hospital into a medical centre.
Edie Glatter of the NHC said: “We would like to thank the local community for their huge support and generosity and everyone who has helped to spread the word. You have made it possible for us to reach yet another milestone, following the boost we got a few weeks ago when a judge granted us permission to bring the case, which is only given to about one in five claims, and he also set a cap on our possible costs. It is essential that the local health bodies now run a full and fair consultation including taking a serious look at building a new hospital on a clear site that everyone in West Hertfordshire can get to. It is the only way our local hospital provision can be transformed as it truly needs to be because it is in far worse condition than that of most other areas”.
The NHC and our brilliant team of lawyers at Leigh Day and Co together with barristers David Wolfe and Emma Foubister from the Matrix Chambers are now waiting for the date of the full hearing. This will depend on how busy the High Court is and it may be some months away, though we will be given several weeks’ notice to allow time to prepare documents and submit them by set deadlines ahead of the hearing.