Dacorum Council should press the NHS much harder for improvements to health and hospital services in the Borough, according to Dacorum Health Action Group (DHAG).

Current plans for a Health Campus in the middle of Hemel Hempstead would not give the town or the Borough what they need.

DHAG also pointed to the many advantages of the existing Hemel Hempstead Hospital site, which has some buildings in reasonable condition and offers space for ‘clean’ beds during a pandemic. The underlying question was – Why Abandon Hemel Hospital?

DHAG Chair Philip Aylett told a 30 November meeting of the Council’s Health in Dacorum Committee that plans to replace Hemel Hospital with a Health Campus “appear to fall short of what is required.” He continued that the proposed building – on the Market Square on the Marlowes – only looked big enough to accommodate ” the limited services planned for Hemel by the West Herts Hospitals Trust.”

Dr Aylett said the Trust plan for urgent care at Hemel – projecting a tiny 6% rise in cases over 17 years – “underestimates the likely future demands of Dacorum’s ageing and growing population”. By contrast, Watford General would see a huge 30% rise in A and E cases and big increases in planned appointments. Dr Aylett said this “continuation of the Trust’s long-standing policy of levelling down means many more miserable, congested journeys to Watford General.”

Dr Aylett urged the Council to negotiate with the NHS “to try to secure, for Hemel Hempstead, substantial increases in the range and volume of services beyond those planned by the Trust.”

Dr Aylett’s full statement to the Health in Dacorum Committee is here:

Health in Dacorum speaking note Final