WATFORD GENERAL HOSPITAL FUNDING
Dean has been actively supporting our NHS and care service consistently. From successfully lobbying for £400 million for West Herts Hospital Trust to volunteering at the hospital, raising important questions on the Health & Social Care Select Committee to successfully lobbying for maternity care visits and care homes.
Check out some of Dean's activities below.
Getting Hands-on To Support Our local NHS
Dean has been privileged to have volunteered to support the exceptional work at Watford General Hospital during the pandemic throughout the last year. Dean
Dean has regularly thanked the volunteers for their support for the local NHS and as part of the vaccination programme, including raising the work they do locally to the Prime Minister as part of PMQs.
Dean aims to continue volunteering at the hospital for the foreseeable future.
Standing Up For Watford General
Dean has reconfirmed my support of the redevelopment of 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 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 world class and need easily accessible first class facilities to match.
Secretary of State Praises Dean For Campaign
The Prime Minister has confirmed for the first time 40 hospitals that will be built by 2030 as part of a package worth £3.7 billion, with eight further new schemes invited to bid, delivering on the government’s manifesto commitment.
New standards will be developed over the coming months to help standardise the design of new hospitals and make use of modular construction methods to speed up the build.
The Health Infrastructure Plan is the biggest hospital building programme in a generation. It launched last September with a £2.8 billion investment that gave six new hospitals the funding to go ahead, alongside seed funding for Trusts to work up business cases.
The Trusts that received seed funding will now all be fully funded to deliver 25 new hospitals.
The long-term investment in these new hospitals will ensure the NHS can continue to provide world-class care right across the country in the years to come.
Following the news that West Hertfordshire NHS Hospital Trust will receive significant funding to redevelop it’s three sites, with Watford General being at the heart of these plans, Watford’s MP Dean Russell said:
“I am delighted that the excellent staff at Watford General will be able to work in 21st Century facilities. The staff do an amazing job, and they deserve world class facilities to match the level of care that they provide. With the funding that is on offer, up to 90% of the buildings will be new which will vastly improve the patient experience.”
Fundraising For 'Raise'
Since 1995, Raise has been dedicated to supporting patient and staff care across Hemel Hempstead, St Albans City and Watford General Hospitals.
Beyond volunteering for Watford General, Dean offered to use his creative talents to paint Sir Captain Tom Moore to auction for the charity.
The painting was kindly bought and gifted back to the Trust, and is now displayed at the entrance of the hospital, reminding patients and staff of the positive message and inspiration that Sir Captain Tom Moore delivered across the nation during the first national lockdown.
Additionally, Dean was also pleased to raise further funds for the charity through his birthday fundraiser in 2020.
NHS Poster Competition
As a keen artist and along with auctioning art work for good causes, Dean was also pleased to team up with the Watford Observer to launch a competition for children to create posters to show their support for our tremendous NHS.
The quality and volume of entries clearly showed the respect and love for this amazing institution which we all rely on so heavily. Dean was grateful and inspired by everyone who entered sharing that 'The posters submitted really depicted the strength of feeling felt by the nation and showed a wonderful diversity in creativity.'
Congratulations to Stacey Stephenson for winning the competition. Stacey's contribution is shown here.
Further £4 Million In Funding For Watford General
West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust will receive more than £4 million as part of a fund of £600 million to help eradicate the maintenance backlog in NHS hospitals.
Dean welcomed the announcement “The government is committed to supporting the NHS to build back better, having confirmed a series of major investments including £850 million to upgrade 20 hospitals and £3.7 billion to help deliver 40 new hospitals by 2030, which of course includes Watford General which is excellent news for healthcare in our town.”
Dean Successfully Calls For Easing Of Visiting Restrictions During Birth
During the COVID lockdown Dean Russell MP backed a national campaign started by Alicia Kearns MP from Rutland Melton, to urge NHS Trusts to ease restrictions during the birthing process.
Dean wrote to West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust to request easing of restrictions for changes to the maternity visiting guidance to allow birthing partners to be more present during the birthing process.
With the changes, birthing partners were able to attend the dating scan and be present after confirmation of the start of the birthing process, not just when active labour begins.
Previously, only allowed one named birth partner for a limited time during the entire birthing process, due to coronavirus safety concerns.
Filipino boxer Nonito Donaire pays tribute to staff at hospital
Dean Russell has been friends with 9-time world boxing champion Filipino Nonito ‘Flash’ Donaire since he went on a charity mission in the Philippines helping families impacted by Typhoon Haiyan.
Mr Russell recently spoke with Donaire about how many NHS workers at Watford General Hospital are from the Philippines, and how they make up a big part of the front line here in the UK fighting Covid-19.
Donaire, touched by this knowledge, went on to make a personal video thanking both the Filipino workers at Watford General Hospital and all other NHS staff.
He said: “My friend Dean told me about the incredible work the Filipino community and all the brave staff are doing at Watford General Hospital and across the NHS in the UK.
“So I just wanted to say thank you from both of us and God bless. You guys are our superheroes so be safe and take care.”
Dean commented at the time: “All our NHS staff from abroad deserve to be celebrated and this is ever more the case as they serve on our front line.
Across our NHS and care homes, so many from the Filipino community work tirelessly to support those in need. I want to take this opportunity to thank them and all the NHS community from overseas.”
Visit the original news article on Watford Observer by clicking below.
Health and Social Care Select Committee
The Health & Social Care Select Committee is an official Parliamentary committee made up of cross party MP's which are elected to the position by their peers.
The committee has ultimate responsibility to scrutinise the work of the Department of Health and Social Care coupled with the associated public bodies. As part of the Select Committee, Dean examines the government policy, spending and administration on behalf of the House and Commons and the electorate.
During the COVID crisis this has included interviewing Government Ministers and advisors including Professor Whitty, Sir Patrick Valance and The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP.
View Dean's questions and contributions in the Health and Social Care Select Committee section via the link below.
Championing Mental Health First Aid
Dean was honoured to be made an ambassador for the campaign 'Where's Your Head At?' recently and will use this opportunity to further discuss the importance of providing mental health support in every workplace.
Dean has regularly stated he wants Watford to become a 'Wellbeing Town' where mental wellbeing in the norm and loneliness has no place to hide.
As part of this ambition, Dean invited the Prime Minister to launch his Mental Health First Aid Scheme to train a thousand mental health first aiders with Watford Chamber of Commerce and local Churches, with the kind support of Camelot.
If you would like to learn more about the scheme, please click below to find out more and register an interest.
Chair of the Digital Health
All Party Parliamentary Group
Dean is the chair of this important new All Party Parliamentary Group which looks at the role of Digital Health and the future of technology in the NHS and beyond.
The group's fundamental aim is to connect Parliament with the health system, industry, academia, third sector, and civil society to provide insight and recommendations in the realm of digital health in the future.
The Digital Health APPG aspires to stimulate public debate and inform policy making on the use of data and Digital technologies in delivering health services and supporting our citizens to strive to live healthy lives whilst supporting the UK economy.
Latest Health Campaign News
Dean is actively involved in the community and is leading local and national campaigns and initiatives to make a difference for people across Watford and around the UK. Use the links below to find out more. If you don't see something important to you, let Dean know via a quick community survey here.