The 25 May relaunch for the New Hospital Programme, including news on Watford General’s redevelopment, leaves many vital questions unanswered.

The Trust have failed to gain government approval for their preferred option, and are now in the middle of a rushed redesign to meet the Treasury’s demands for a standardised national approach based on ‘modular’ buildings produced in factories, known as ‘Hospital 2.0’. No one has explained exactly what ‘Hospital 2.0’ means.

Tower blocks will be needed to squeeze 1000 beds onto the current surface car park. How high will they have to be? 16 storeys, maybe more.

Whatever happens at Watford General, the problems of access to a constricted and congested site in a highly built-up area will remain. The impact of building work on patients during construction will be severe.

Meanwhile, there is no detail on the future funding of Hemel Hempstead or St Albans Hospitals.

The fact is that the Vicarage Road site is a very bad place to put an emergency care and specialist hospital.

The NHC response to 25 May announcement is here

The Government press release about the announcement is here