Watford's MP has reiterated his support of redeveloping Watford General Hospital.
An independent report concluded redeveloping the existing hospital is a more realistic option for West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust than building a new hospital on a new site.
The hospital trust could have as much as £590 million to spend on its facilities and the report states any completion of a hospital on a new site would unlikely meet a government deadline of 2025.
Dean Russell has said "that the existing site at Watford General is just over 73,000 square metres so has huge potential with sufficient space for new buildings. It also has a new access road and essential utilities.
The planned multi-storey car park will free up significant space on the site currently used as parking. With the funding that is on offer, up to 90% of the buildings would be new and there would be a massive increase in single rooms.
Much has been said about the proximity to the Football Club but a lot of this dates back to before the new access road was put in - which has made a huge difference. It also has an ambulance-only section so that emergency patients can be brought in as quickly as possible. A significant amount of public money has already been spent on redeveloping the A&E and other wards.
I have seen for myself that having Watford FC as its neighbour has actually been an amazing bonus this year and really helped the hospital by giving the hard-working staff much-needed respite.
There is match day traffic on alternate weekends during a normal season and occasionally in the evening, but these aren’t peak times for the hospital and new access road makes it possible for hospital traffic to avoid Vicarage Road.
I think it is also really important to point out that more than 40% of the staff working at Watford General live in Watford and Three Rivers, and many live within walking distance to Watford General.
Our hospital staff are first class and need easily accessible first-class facilities to match."