‘Watford General will undoubtedly be main site for A&E and maternity care’, says NHS Trust's Anthony Tiernan

New hospital row: ‘Watford General will undoubtedly be main site for A&E and maternity care’

New hospital row: ‘Watford General will undoubtedly be main site for A&E and maternity care’

First published in News
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Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Web content editor

Key services such as accident and emergency and maternity care will "undoubtedly" remain in Watford, according to hospital bosses.

Anthony Tiernan, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s director of communications, made the assurance, as the trust looks at redrawing health care across its three sites in Watford, Hemel Hempstead and St Albans.

The trust is currently putting together a clinical strategy that will decide how Watford General Hospital will change as part of the health campus regeneration scheme.

The reassurance comes after Kyle McClelland, a director at the trust, suggested it was looking at "all sorts of other options" when pressed by residents about whether the area’s main hospital would remain in Watford.

Mr Tiernan said: "Watford General Hospital will undoubtedly be our main hospital site with the A&E, maternity and all the services that go with them."

At a council meeting last night Mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill said she was sure there would be hospital facilities on site, but was unable to elaborate, suggesting that in the future medical care would not be provided by "a big acute hospital".

She added: "We believed under the old chief executive, chairman and board, we had an idea of where things were going. Nothing is ruled in and nothing is ruled out.

"If we have to go to St Albans for our day-surgery then we’ll go to St Albans. Many people have to go many miles further than we’ll ever have to go."

Mayor Thornhill also said the future of the health campus scheme was hinged on the hospital trust achieving foundation status, something the trust’s chief executive refutes.

She said: "The trust is between a rock and a hard place, it has a very difficult financial situation to resolve, a new board, a new clinical management team. Everything is up in the air.

"No government guarantees funding for a hospital whose funding is in a bad state. Without foundation status you’d don’t get the green light to go forward and borrow.

"We believed foundation status was just a blink away, it turns out that is not the case. We are disappointed."

Samantha Jones, the trust's chief executive, argued the its involvement in the health campus was not based on it being an NHS foundation trust. She added: "It would of course be helpful, as it would, for instance, allow us to borrow money from places non-foundation trusts can’t, but it’s not absolutely necessary."

Comments (12)

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5:05pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Andrew Turpie says...

Sorry but the amount of contrasting stories spinning out of this debacle brings us all to one conclusion :

No one involved actually knows if they are going for a sh!t or a haircut.
Sorry but the amount of contrasting stories spinning out of this debacle brings us all to one conclusion : No one involved actually knows if they are going for a sh!t or a haircut. Andrew Turpie
  • Score: 17

5:29pm Thu 30 Jan 14

TRT says...

If I was the Mayor, I'd be f***ing embarrassed to have to go to Eric Pickles office for anything else in the future. This just tarnishes completely any credibility Mayor Thornhill hopes to use for future negotiations. She's outlived her usefulness as Mayor.
Sorry Dorothy, I have supported you in the past, but you must understand that your already tenuous reputation was on the line when you backed Keir in their quest for land and took the fight to Westminster. This is become a debacle.
If I was the Mayor, I'd be f***ing embarrassed to have to go to Eric Pickles office for anything else in the future. This just tarnishes completely any credibility Mayor Thornhill hopes to use for future negotiations. She's outlived her usefulness as Mayor. Sorry Dorothy, I have supported you in the past, but you must understand that your already tenuous reputation was on the line when you backed Keir in their quest for land and took the fight to Westminster. This is become a debacle. TRT
  • Score: 12

5:41pm Thu 30 Jan 14

TRT says...

And to you, Mr Tiernan, A&E in the furthest corner of the South West Hertfordshire, in the most problematic traffic jam-prone area possible? Are you out of your mind? Key services like A&E & Maternity should be the ones to be distributed. Everyone understands that if you need surgery or chemotherapy or a scan or something, then you'll have to travel to get it done.
But for the really acute things you need local provision. You can't be expected to make an hour's journey when your lady parts are being ripped apart and the baby, your child, that you've been carrying for up to 9 months is at risk of brain damage or death through delay... Nor can you be expected to be make an hour's journey when you've got a subdural haematoma or a severed artery... You can't say "Watford General will be the centre for these things", when you need them in Hemel & St. Albans as well.
Fine, move surgical and chronic wards to a centralised hospital, but leave the acute provision where it is!
And to you, Mr Tiernan, A&E in the furthest corner of the South West Hertfordshire, in the most problematic traffic jam-prone area possible? Are you out of your mind? Key services like A&E & Maternity should be the ones to be distributed. Everyone understands that if you need surgery or chemotherapy or a scan or something, then you'll have to travel to get it done. But for the really acute things you need local provision. You can't be expected to make an hour's journey when your lady parts are being ripped apart and the baby, your child, that you've been carrying for up to 9 months is at risk of brain damage or death through delay... Nor can you be expected to be make an hour's journey when you've got a subdural haematoma or a severed artery... You can't say "Watford General will be the centre for these things", when you need them in Hemel & St. Albans as well. Fine, move surgical and chronic wards to a centralised hospital, but leave the acute provision where it is! TRT
  • Score: 2

8:25pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Andrew1963 says...

The future of hospital care is bigger more specialist hospitals that can exploit the newest technology that will also attract the best doctors and nurses. So actually acute hospitals like Watford General either need to get bigger or they will wither and disappear. It's easier to get to Northwick Park or the Royal Free than St Albans. The whole situation is unravelling, and it looks like even the Mayor is saying there is no need to build on the allotments for the hospital. They have had to rush out the spin doctors to get the truth back in the box.
The future of hospital care is bigger more specialist hospitals that can exploit the newest technology that will also attract the best doctors and nurses. So actually acute hospitals like Watford General either need to get bigger or they will wither and disappear. It's easier to get to Northwick Park or the Royal Free than St Albans. The whole situation is unravelling, and it looks like even the Mayor is saying there is no need to build on the allotments for the hospital. They have had to rush out the spin doctors to get the truth back in the box. Andrew1963
  • Score: 1

10:20pm Thu 30 Jan 14

gusgreen says...

Is anybody really surprised at the total mess that this has turned into?

Politicians who would not know the truth if it bit their butt, a NHS Trust that has no idea what it needs or actually,and more importantly, what the patient needs are and a Mayor who spins so much that she has disappeared up her own orifice and will never come out smelling of roses!!!

And they all wonder why people are pi**ed off!
Is anybody really surprised at the total mess that this has turned into? Politicians who would not know the truth if it bit their butt, a NHS Trust that has no idea what it needs or actually,and more importantly, what the patient needs are and a Mayor who spins so much that she has disappeared up her own orifice and will never come out smelling of roses!!! And they all wonder why people are pi**ed off! gusgreen
  • Score: 5

12:03am Fri 31 Jan 14

zigthedog says...

After attending the exhibition on the Health Campus in the Town Hall today, 30/01/14, and after speaking to a representatives from Kier, two from the council and one from the NHS I was not convinced any hospital or health campus was ever going to be built. I was very disappointed not to see actual plans for a new hospital or the campus as a whole, they could only show areas of land that would be available should they
be required by the trust for the campus. A representative could not even tell me what the population of Watford or South West Herts has been estimated to be in 20 years when the project should be nearing completion. A very easy sum to work out using the increase in population on the 2001-2011 census figure of 13.3%. And to save anyone else the time of working this out Watford's population in 2033 will be around 122,000 and 610,000 in South West Herts as a whole. I appreciate we can not predict the future improvements in health care but we can base those figures against today's present hospital data and have a reasonable idea how many beds the hospital will need and how many wards and operating theatres etc will be needed as well. The health authority must have some idea what other facilities a new Health Campus will need otherwise why suggest a campus in the first place? I'm not the only one who didn't believe what we're being told, I heard others at the exhibition expressing just the same concerns. My opinion, the name Health Campus is a no more than a "Red Herring" to allow the planners in to build even more houses in an over populated and heavily congested area. I trust nobody on the council has shares in Kier?
After attending the exhibition on the Health Campus in the Town Hall today, 30/01/14, and after speaking to a representatives from Kier, two from the council and one from the NHS I was not convinced any hospital or health campus was ever going to be built. I was very disappointed not to see actual plans for a new hospital or the campus as a whole, they could only show areas of land that would be available should they be required by the trust for the campus. A representative could not even tell me what the population of Watford or South West Herts has been estimated to be in 20 years when the project should be nearing completion. A very easy sum to work out using the increase in population on the 2001-2011 census figure of 13.3%. And to save anyone else the time of working this out Watford's population in 2033 will be around 122,000 and 610,000 in South West Herts as a whole. I appreciate we can not predict the future improvements in health care but we can base those figures against today's present hospital data and have a reasonable idea how many beds the hospital will need and how many wards and operating theatres etc will be needed as well. The health authority must have some idea what other facilities a new Health Campus will need otherwise why suggest a campus in the first place? I'm not the only one who didn't believe what we're being told, I heard others at the exhibition expressing just the same concerns. My opinion, the name Health Campus is a no more than a "Red Herring" to allow the planners in to build even more houses in an over populated and heavily congested area. I trust nobody on the council has shares in Kier? zigthedog
  • Score: 6

12:16am Fri 31 Jan 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

Nothing has changed, only the truth has been revealed.

It is not a pretty sight.
Nothing has changed, only the truth has been revealed. It is not a pretty sight. Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: -1

8:28am Fri 31 Jan 14

garry.armstrong232@btinternet.com says...

cant cope now so how you going to9 do it now iv been a in an out watford for years an seen the good an the bad now it so hard for the nurses to cope iv had to wait 4 hours before evern being seen open the other hospitals again it make sence goverment dont know ehat there doing
cant cope now so how you going to9 do it now iv been a in an out watford for years an seen the good an the bad now it so hard for the nurses to cope iv had to wait 4 hours before evern being seen open the other hospitals again it make sence goverment dont know ehat there doing garry.armstrong232@btinternet.com
  • Score: 0

8:30am Fri 31 Jan 14

oddjobman says...

The term "Health Campus" has been used to describe this development and so we all believed that redeveloped health facilities (whatever that means) was at the centre of this project, and the housing provision was simply to generate cash to make the health facilities affordable. Now it is revealed that we are going to get the housing development but not the new health facilities. An immediate stop should be placed on all housing plans until the health plans are made firm.
In my humble opinion the Vicarage Road site is just about the worst place for a hospital serving Watford, Hemel Hempstead and St Albans.
The term "Health Campus" has been used to describe this development and so we all believed that redeveloped health facilities (whatever that means) was at the centre of this project, and the housing provision was simply to generate cash to make the health facilities affordable. Now it is revealed that we are going to get the housing development but not the new health facilities. An immediate stop should be placed on all housing plans until the health plans are made firm. In my humble opinion the Vicarage Road site is just about the worst place for a hospital serving Watford, Hemel Hempstead and St Albans. oddjobman
  • Score: 7

8:45am Fri 31 Jan 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

oddjobman wrote:
The term "Health Campus" has been used to describe this development and so we all believed that redeveloped health facilities (whatever that means) was at the centre of this project, and the housing provision was simply to generate cash to make the health facilities affordable. Now it is revealed that we are going to get the housing development but not the new health facilities. An immediate stop should be placed on all housing plans until the health plans are made firm.
In my humble opinion the Vicarage Road site is just about the worst place for a hospital serving Watford, Hemel Hempstead and St Albans.
oddjobman,

interesting comment.

Last night we announced at a UKIP public meeting in Watford what UKIP's policies are for the local election in 2014.

That was one of them. Further we want an open public investigation into what has been going on to get to the real truth of the matter. We intend to turn over the stones and see what crawls out from under them. The public need to be told the truth over this. It's shameful!
[quote][p][bold]oddjobman[/bold] wrote: The term "Health Campus" has been used to describe this development and so we all believed that redeveloped health facilities (whatever that means) was at the centre of this project, and the housing provision was simply to generate cash to make the health facilities affordable. Now it is revealed that we are going to get the housing development but not the new health facilities. An immediate stop should be placed on all housing plans until the health plans are made firm. In my humble opinion the Vicarage Road site is just about the worst place for a hospital serving Watford, Hemel Hempstead and St Albans.[/p][/quote]oddjobman, interesting comment. Last night we announced at a UKIP public meeting in Watford what UKIP's policies are for the local election in 2014. That was one of them. Further we want an open public investigation into what has been going on to get to the real truth of the matter. We intend to turn over the stones and see what crawls out from under them. The public need to be told the truth over this. It's shameful! Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: 1

11:26am Fri 31 Jan 14

Cuetip says...

Andrew Turpie wrote:
Sorry but the amount of contrasting stories spinning out of this debacle brings us all to one conclusion :

No one involved actually knows if they are going for a sh!t or a haircut.
Everyone thought the hospital was the clear priority not 500, then 600 and now 700 homes plus bulldozing the allotments.

Perhaps there is rethink on the location of this super hospital if the intention is still to close Hemel and St Albans. Think of the land available for more housing.

As anyone examined the term affordable housing which is always being waved to inject even more rabbit hutches into tight spaces?

It seems that the price of a house is now being inflated by all sorts of absentee investors,40 yr mortgage deals, marketing campaigns around the globe. Meanwhile we are being promoted as a low wage economy with real wages stuck at levels 10 years ago which means that what was affordable becomes unaffordable as the bar is set a little higher.

Who are the winners and who are the losers in all this?
[quote][p][bold]Andrew Turpie[/bold] wrote: Sorry but the amount of contrasting stories spinning out of this debacle brings us all to one conclusion : No one involved actually knows if they are going for a sh!t or a haircut.[/p][/quote]Everyone thought the hospital was the clear priority not 500, then 600 and now 700 homes plus bulldozing the allotments. Perhaps there is rethink on the location of this super hospital if the intention is still to close Hemel and St Albans. Think of the land available for more housing. As anyone examined the term affordable housing which is always being waved to inject even more rabbit hutches into tight spaces? It seems that the price of a house is now being inflated by all sorts of absentee investors,40 yr mortgage deals, marketing campaigns around the globe. Meanwhile we are being promoted as a low wage economy with real wages stuck at levels 10 years ago which means that what was affordable becomes unaffordable as the bar is set a little higher. Who are the winners and who are the losers in all this? Cuetip
  • Score: 1

4:56pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Jerry S says...

Will there be room for a circus tent within the health campus? There seem to be clowns galore involved in this debacle.
Will there be room for a circus tent within the health campus? There seem to be clowns galore involved in this debacle. Jerry S
  • Score: 3

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