I stood on a manifesto commitment to secure a hospital for Watford fit for the 21st century.
Since being elected, I have relentlessly campaigned for the redevelopment of Watford General Hospital. I am delighted that Health Secretary Steve Barclay heard my calls and announced the go-ahead for a fully funded new state of the art hospital on the Watford General site.
In recent years there have been incredible advances at Watford General, such as creating the UK's first virtual hospital, the installation of two surgery robots, and the trust working hard to gain teaching hospital status. Achievements I was proud to support. It now needs new and better buildings for the benefit of both patients and staff.
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, a new car park and improvement works thanks to £51 million already invested as part of the programme.
Matthew Coats, the trust’s Chief Executive, said: "This is fantastic news. Our patients and staff can look forward to a complete transformation in terms of our buildings and the way our services work together. Our staff work so hard in buildings that add challenge to already demanding jobs. I am so pleased that we will be able to offer a far better working environment and one they can be proud of. Local people can be assured that the new hospital has been designed with the sole priority of delivering our vision: the very best care for every patient, every day."
Phil Townsend, the trust’s Chair, said: "This announcement marks a significant milestone in our quest to build the much-needed new hospital for the people of Watford and West Hertfordshire. This is the culmination of many years of unrelenting hard work, led by the trust board. It has been a long road to this point, and I am incredibly grateful to colleagues for their continued engagement and particularly for their detailed work on the plans.
This very welcome news will transform healthcare for local residents and ensure our fantastic NHS staff and volunteers will work in world-class facilities.