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HOPES FOR HOSPITAL: Funds for Watford General rebuild yet to come through

 Published on: 27th November 2023   |   By: Bryn Holmes   |   Category: Uncategorized

Watford General Hospital’s chief redevelopment officer (CRD) has revealed that, despite being promised the cash for a new hospital on the site, they have yet to see any money.

At a meeting of Watford Borough Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday, November 15, it was revealed that much of the groundwork for the development is already complete.

This follows a confirmation of funding in May of this year, when then Health Secretary Steve Barclay stated that a new hospital would be built on the Vicarage Road site in Watford.

When asked by councillors about the funding, the hospital’s CRD Alex White said he couldn’t disclose the exact amount of money the project was to receive, but that they were one of the few hospital developments to have been allocated enough to complete all the necessary upgrades.

When asked about whether the recent changes in government had made an impact on the funds, he said: “I don’t think you can say the cheque has been signed at this stage. It’s been agreed in principle, subject to the approval of the business cases.”

Borough councillor Tom Osborn then asked Mr White about the hospital’s contingency plans in the case of the government’s promises being broken.

Mr White stated: “We’d continue to maintain the existing estate to the best of our ability, but obviously, it’s not an ideal scenario.”

Mr White also laid out the next steps for the development, which includes creating the design for the new buildings. Work is expected to start in 2025 or 2026.

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