A retired project designer and manager, who was responsible for the planning, design and construction of the Hospice of St Francis, is heading a campaign for a new centralised hospital for West Herts.
Gordon Yearwood founded the non-profit organisation, West Herts 21 Century Hospital Solution, which was formed to achieve a purpose built, 21st century, centrally located hospital, for all the people of West Hertfordshire.
In a presentation to the Berkhamsted Chamber of Commerce, Gordon stated that while the UK population increased by 14% (from 59m to 67m) and the expenditure on the NHS doubled from 2000 to 2020, our senior NHS staff systematically cut the number of hospital beds every year from 240,144 in 2000 to 162,723 in 2020, to a level that Gordon claims became ‘dangerously inadequate’.
This has resulted, he said in: Nurses treating patients in corridors; A&E blocking up; queues of ambulances waiting to discharge patients to A&E and unable to collect new patients; cancelled planned operations; GPs told to reduce referrals, and improper discharging of patients without adequate handover.
Gordon claims that the government has indicated that up to £590 million could be provided for a ‘new’ hospital for the people of West Herts.
He claims the money could be used to build a new centrally located 21st century hospital, but instead local NHS senior staff want to keep Watford as our main hospital, building a £940m tower block hospital, higher than Grenfell Tower.
Gordon’s vision for a 21st century acute general hospital with A&E, maternity and planned surgery, located centrally between St Albans, Watford and Hemel Hempstead, would, he says, be a better option for the people of Berkhamsted and West Herts.
In his plan, there would be supporting satellite community health centres in Hemel, St Albans and Watford, to provide urgent, but non-life threatening, treatment.
The design (pictured) for the proposed hospital has taken as its inspiration The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, opened in 2012, and identified as the UK’s most effective acute general hospital to date.
Gordon concluded by telling the Chamber that the Health Secretary Sajid Javid has agreed to look into the local NHS Trust’s refusal to consider a new 21st century hospital on a central site.
The next step for West Herts 21 Century Hospital Solution is to have a proper economic appraisal by a credible organisation to demonstrate the sustainable credibility of the proposal.
Once that is completed, the organisation can take the completed design together with the economic appraisal to the Secretary of State.
West Herts 21 Century Hospital Solution is now crowdfunding to pay for this last part of the proposal. To contribute, head to the fundraising page at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/westherts21stcenturyhospital.