Sir Mike Penning, Member of Parliament for Hemel Hempstead, has expressed his disappointment at the High Court ruling on the New Hospital Campaign’s judicial review.
Sir Mike said: ‘I am extremely sad and disappointed that the High Court has ruled against the New Hospital Campaign’s contention that the West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust was unlawful in failing to consult the public on its decision to reject a new hospital option. The ruling stated that the Trust is only required to ‘involve’ the public and not ‘consult’.
‘I pay tribute to the incredible amount of work put into this judicial review by local hospital campaigners and thank them and everyone who helped fund this campaign.
‘Whilst this is disappointing, this is not the end of the road. It is blatantly obvious that a new hospital on a new site is the right solution for the whole of West Hertfordshire. Not only from the point of view of accessibility, but I do believe that it will be cheaper and easier. Rebuilding at Watford whilst trying to keep the hospital fully operational will be a nightmare.
‘We all know that once they start to rebuild at Watford they will discover ‘unforeseen’ problems that will lead to delays, asbestos will be found where it is not expected, telecoms and electricity hubs will need to be rerouted. All this will inevitably lead to additional delays and costs.
‘Ambulances will be competing with lorries to get to the site. Noise and dust will be very upsetting and harmful for patients. It would be so much easier to build on a new site.
‘It is so frustrating that common sense has been thrown out the window for no obvious good reason. We will not give up the fight.’
Image: Sir Mike Penning MP leads hospital campaigners to meet Health Minister in 2019