Hemel Hempstead MP, Sir Mike Penning has expressed his anger after learning that the West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust is proposing massive investment at Watford and the absolute bare minimum at Hemel.
The boards of West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group met on 6 June to agree a way forward for hospital development in the area. They have decided to back proposals that would see over 85% of the £350 million funding available being allocated to Watford with just £10 million (less than 3%) allocated to Hemel Hempstead.
Sir Mike said: ‘It beggars belief that the Trust is not only refusing to consider a new build option but actually choosing the worst of their four options for the people of Hemel Hempstead.
‘Hemel Hempstead is the largest town in Hertfordshire and planned to grow significantly now that St Albans has allocated large areas right up against Hemel’s border for housing.
‘We know that the new hospital planned for Harlow is estimated to cost £350 to 400 million. There is no reason that could not be replicated here.
‘If the Trust goes ahead with this, they are throwing good money after bad. Trying to renovate a Victorian hospital on an unsuitable site at an inaccessible location is madness.
‘Trying to do all this whilst keeping it open all the time is crazy. I have no doubt that it will end up costing far more in the long run.
‘They are holding a public meeting in Bushey on 13 June. It is an insult to local people.
‘What an absolute sham.’