Following health chiefs’ announcement at the weekend that they are pushing ahead with rebuilding Watford General hospital rather than considering a new build option, Sir Mike said: ‘The Trust is continuing to ride roughshod over the views of local people.
‘This is utterly ridiculous. It is clearly common sense that a new hospital on a new site and easily accessible to the people from all three major towns in the area is the best option. It would also be easy to build and could include a level car park and have space for expansion and a helipad.
‘We are now at the stage where the Trust has told the Department for Health and Social Care that only the Watford site could possibly be built on by 2025 and the Department for Health and Social Care is telling the Trust that they must select a site that can be built on by 2025.
‘We are literally going around in circles. The Trust is feeding misleading and manipulated information into the system to ensure they get their preferred answer out.
‘The feasibility study makes assumptions that the local planning process will delay construction so that the only site available is the existing hospital site.
‘This is nonsense. There is no evidence that this would be the case.’
Sir Mike has written a response and is following up on his letter to the Comptroller and Auditor General.
The Trust has an obligation to make sure that all options are considered. They cannot manipulate the data to ensure a pre-determined solution wins out.
Sir Mike added: ‘A new site option would be good value for money, good for the whole community and quicker to build.
‘I believe that a new site option could meet the 2025 target date, but even if it did take a couple of years longer it is better in the long run to get the best site to serve the people of the area. We need to get this right for our children and grandchildren.’