An MP has put forward a motion in Parliament calling for a new hospital in Watford, citing concerns that the current one is “crumbling” and “not fit for 21st century medical care”.
Sir Mike Penning, MP for Hemel Hempstead, has opposed plans to revamp Watford General Hospital, instead calling for a “new acute hospital” central to Watford and the surrounding area.
The petition to build a new hospital was started by campaigner Andy Love and he called on NHS decision makers to instruct West Herts Hospital Trust (WHHT) to amend their strategic outline case, arguing that an A&E hospital is needed in west Herts instead of developing the existing Watford General Hospital.
Sir Mike Penning MP has tabled a motion in Parliament in support of a new, central hospital, and at the time of going to print, 9,000 people had signed the petition even though it needed 10,000 to be considered by the government.
He said: “This is part of my ongoing campaign to get a new, modern, purpose-built, acute hospital to serve the people of Hemel Hempstead, St Albans and Watford. The West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust is making a big mistake to focus all efforts on Watford.
“We have excellent medical teams in west Herts and they need a new state-of-the-art facility in which to work. A hotchpotch of old crumbling buildings on a site chosen for a Victorian workhouse is not fit for 21st century medical care.”
Last year a previous petition, which reached 10,000 signatures, was rejected by the Department of Health, which stated that WHHT had ruled out a new hospital as unaffordable and undeliverable.
Sir Mike Penning MP added: “Let’s start again, on a greenfield site, with room to allow for expansion, plenty of free – and level – car parking. It’s a no-brainer.
“A hospital would benefit the people of this growing part of the world as well as serve as a well-located backup for any major incidents on the M1, M25, the airports and north-west London.”