The collapsed services duct unpopularly known as the Watford General sinkhole has just passed its first birthday. The Trust have been struggling to sort out the mess in the road by the main hospital entrance for a year now, and the digger is still digging.

To be fair it looks as if they are nearing the end of the fiasco and the road may be open before too long. That would be a big relief to patients and staff.

But the saga has shown up the frailty of the vital services tunnels, with cables and pipes, under the hospital. The Trust took months to work out what had happened and what repairs were needed.  They still don’t know what lies beneath the old buildings and how safe it would be be to build on top.  All sorts of things, including asbestos and other pollutants, may be down there.

That matters because it looks likely that the Trust will have to use the site of the existing buildings in the future, for whatever new hospital emerges from the mess that is the acute redevelopment project. 

This is just a terrible place to put a new hospital.