Hospital rebuild plans: 'the Government needs to step in', says Labour candidate (From Watford Observer)
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Hospital rebuild plans: 'the Government needs to step in', says Labour parliamentary candidate for Watford Matt Turmaine
The Labour parliamentary candidate for Watford has called on the Government to intervene in plans to rebuild the town hospital.
Matt Turmaine said the worsening financial situation of the health trust in charge of Watford General Hospital meant plans for regeneration are slipping further away.
He said the town’s Conservative MP and Liberal Democrat elected mayor should "be pulling out all the stops" to secure Government cash for the scheme.
Mr Turmaine said: "If you need to go to hospital, you do. It’s wrong to saddle the Trust with an unmanageable budgetary position. That’s why the government needs to step in.
"Why are Richard Harrington and the Lib Dem Council not lobbying their pals in the coalition government to sort this out? "We all want a modernised hospital. They should be pulling out all the stops to get one."
The Chancellor George Osborne and Health secretary Jeremy Hunt have both said the government will not make a promise on funding until the plans for the new hospital are finalised.
Last week the Samantha Jones, the chief executive of West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said the clinical strategy, which will set out how the hospital will be rebuilt as part of the health campus scheme, may not be revealed until after the General Election.
Mr Turmaine’s comments come after he met with Ms Jones to discuss the situation at the hospital.
He added: "When Labour was in power, the hospital got major investment, including a new emergency admissions unit. Since the coalition government came to power in 2010, local residents have been left wondering when they will see the modernisation of other facilities at our major hospital.
"I have met with Samantha Jones and applaud it for working hard to recruit more nurses, get patients through the hospital system and to plan its future requirements as part of its clinical strategic review," he stated.
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