West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust have launched a public engagement programme called ‘Your Care, Your Views’ to gather feedback on plans to redesign its services.
The proposals, launched on February 18, for new ways to provide care are being developed alongside rebuild and refurbishment plans for the three hospitals the trust manages; Hemel Hempstead Hospital, St Albans City Hospital and Watford General Hospital.
The trust is currently at the outline business case stage of a major bid to the government for funding to transform Watford General Hospital (with up to 90% new buildings) and to redevelop
and refurbish its hospitals in Hemel Hempstead and St Albans.
In advance of building works, the trust has reviewed the way services are currently provided and is looking to make a range of improvements.
These will include a higher proportion of single rooms, more ‘one stop’ clinics (where diagnostic procedures, treatment and consultation all take place within the same appointment) and more online appointments.
The starting point of the proposals is for each of the hospitals to have a more clearly defined role. Emergency, inpatient and complex care will remain at Watford; Hemel Hempstead Hospital will be the centre for planned medical care and long term conditions and St Albans City Hospital will be the centre for planned surgery and cancer care.
Urgent care services and some outpatient services will be provided at all three sites.
Diagnostic facilities will be significantly upgraded at all three hospitals and the latest digital technology will be incorporated.
The trust is launching a new electronic patient record later this year.
Chief Medical Officer Mike van der Watt said: “Creating a unique role for each site and making sure it has the right staff and facilities to provide an excellent standard of care is the backbone of our plans.
“I want to thank our busy clinicians for making the time to develop the proposals we are making public today. Despite the pressures, we have had great engagement and it’s clear how committed our staff are to making our services the best they can be. We have reviewed the latest best practice from this country and abroad and have used that as well as national policy and our own ideas to create a vastly improved way of delivering patient care.
“I am excited by our plans which are about so much more than buildings and beds. The quality and safety of our services and the clinical outcomes we want for our patients have been our guiding force.”
The trust is issuing a survey to find out what people think of its ideas and has offered to make presentations to local community groups. There is also a series of online events.
Further information can be found on the trust’s website.
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