Health Secretary Steve Barclay announced the go-ahead for a fully funded new state of the art hospital on the Watford General site.
The relentless campaigning of Watford MP Dean Russell was referenced in the announcement today, as Mr Barclay praised Dean for his “compelling representations” to numerous Ministers, paid tribute to his work at the hospital “as a volunteer on many occasions” and joined him in thanking the leadership team at West Herts Teaching Hospital Trust for their work with the MP to secure this investment.
Following the announcement Dean said “I am overjoyed with today’s announcement. I stood on a manifesto commitment to secure a hospital for Watford fit for the 21st century. Today’s news will transform healthcare for local residents and ensure our fantastic NHS staff and volunteers will work in world-class facilities.
I make no apologies for endlessly badgering the Health Secretary, the Chancellor, and the Prime Minister for this funding. I have welcomed five Government Ministers to Watford General, held endless conversations with Ministers and local NHS senior leadership, written several letters and ensured Watford is consistently heard in the House of Commons Chamber to ensure Watford is at the top of the New Hospital Programme.
As we celebrate this incredible news, I would like to pay tribute to my predecessor and the Trust’s leadership team and staff for their work in ensuring the Trust had the watertight plans to ensure we would remain front of the queue for new and improved healthcare services. Not only will we get a flagship new hospital in Watford but the Trust’s other sites in Hemel and St Albans will see significant improvement works.
I made a promise to Watford residents that we would secure world-class facilities. Thank you to everyone who supported me and the Trust in securing this announcement. We did this together.”
Health Minister Lord Markham said “We are investing in new NHS facilities across the country giving patients the certainty they can access world-leading care in state-of-the-art hospitals, both now and in the years to come.”
Senior Responsible Owner of the New Hospital Programme Natalie Forrest commented that “This is a significant milestone for the New Hospital Programme as we continue to progress with delivering facilities for staff and patients at the cutting edge of modern technology with the experience of those who will use these hospitals at the heart of our focus.”
Today’s announcement confirms that the government is on track to deliver its manifesto commitment to build 40 new hospitals in England by 2030. The biggest hospital building programme in a generation will deliver world-class healthcare services, backed by over £20 billion of investment.
To date, Watford General Hospital has received more than £51 million from the programme for enabling works along with an additional £11.5 million for the reconfiguration of pathology on all three sites.
The announcement was part of the government’s investment up and down the country to provide state-of-the-art facilities incorporating digital technology, sustainability, comfortable surroundings, better cancer services, upgraded A&E departments, improved mental health units and modern technology.
Ensuring world-class provision of healthcare for NHS patients and staff will deliver on the Prime Minister’s pledge to cut waiting lists so people will get the care they need more quickly.
NOTES FOR EDITOR
Since 2019, Watford General Hospital has been allocated £6 million from the CDC Diagnostics Fund and £251,000 from the Mental Health Crisis Fund for improvement of mental health urgent and emergency care facilities in 2022-23.
The trust also received £3.6million from the Targeted Investment Fund for estates work in 2021-22. In addition, the trust received £4.1million from the Critical Infrastructure Risk Fund for tackling backlog maintenance across its estate and £2.7million from the A&E Upgrades Fund to expand the emergency care assessment unit at Watford General Hospital and improve COVID-19 separation with adults and paediatric resuscitation in 2020-21. The trust received £6.6million from the Hospital Upgrades Fund for the reconfiguration of the emergency department at Watford General Hospital in 2022/23.