Hemel Hempstead MP, Sir Mike Penning, has written to the Secretary of State for Health and NHS England to express his concerns at ‘a lack of management skills’ and ‘obvious maladministration’ in both the West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust and the Herts Valleys CCG.
Whilst praising front-line staff at local hospitals, Sir Mike has expressed his anger at the Trust’s continuing refusal to include a new-build greenfield site option in the Trust’s strategic outline case (SOC). NHS England rejected the Trust’s first attempt at a strategic outline case as only basically offering one option – rebuilding Watford. In their latest SOC, the Trust – with the support of the CCG – is apparently still essentially only offering the rebuild of Watford option.
Sir Mike said: ‘This is ridiculous, the Trust has been told by NHS England to come back with a number of options and they have failed to include the obvious and sensible option of a new-build on a greenfield site.
‘With land coming available between Leverstock Green and the M1, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get it right. A large piece of flat land that could be easily accessible to all three local towns of Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead.
‘It would be an excellent location for staff to travel to, have lots of room for free parking and be in a good location for dealing with any emergencies on the M1, M25, Luton Airport and North West London.
‘It is madness to attempt to rebuild the crumbling set of rambling buildings at Watford whilst all the time keeping the hospital open. We all know it will be more expensive to do that than start from fresh.
‘I urge the Trust to consider a new-build hospital. It is a project all local politicians could get behind.’
He continued: ‘The New Hospital Campaign has done an excellent job in putting forward a strong and well-aruged case by recognised experts in the field.’
‘The Trust management and CCG are both failing in their duty of care to local people if they do not even consider the new build option as part of their SOC. It is clear to me that there is now not just a lack of management skills from both organisations but also now obvious maladministration.’
You can read Sir Mike’s letter here.