Watford Health Campus: 'I will do all I can to get things moving', says Watford MP (From Watford Observer)
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Watford Health Campus: 'I will do all I can to get things moving', says Watford MP Richard Harrington
Watford’s MP has expressed confidence there will be Government backing for plans to rebuild the town’s hospital.
Richard Harrington said he wants to see Watford General rebuilt as soon as possible but warned the health trust needed to get its plans right.
His comments echo those of Watford’s elected mayor, Dorothy Thornhill, who said last week she was frustrated at the pace of the progress of the hospital redevelopment.
The Liberal Democrat mayor said she and the Conservative MP were well currently placed to lobby the coalition Government to support for the hospital rebuild, which will be part of the health campus redevelopment scheme.
Mr Harrington said: "I quite agree with Dorothy on this, whilst I want to see the new hospital as quickly as possible it is imperative that the plans are drawn up properly.
"I meet with Ms Jones regularly and have discussed the plans with her, and know that progress is being made on the clinical vision for the health campus.
"The secretary of state for health is ready for action which he confirmed during his meeting with Watford General Hospital staff earlier this year, and once the vision is complete I will do all I can to get things moving."
Health bosses at the West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust are currently drawing up a clinical strategy for the rebuild of the hospital.
Earlier health campus plans to redevelop Watford General and the land around it had promised a new 500-bed hospital to be funded by private finance initiative.
However that scheme mothballed after the financial crisis of 2008 and PFI schemes have since been ruled out as too expensive for the public sector in the long run.
Under the current health campus plans, which will see 600 homes built on the land behind Vicarage Road including the previously protected Farm Terrace allotments, it is currently unclear what new health facilities will be built and how they will be funded.
The health trust is due to unveil its new plans for the site in the autumn.
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