Ed Miliband claims Watford General 'desperately needs modernisation' in party political broadcast (From Watford Observer)
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Ed Miliband claims Watford General 'desperately needs modernisation' in party political broadcast
Watford General has been described as a hospital that "desperately needed modernisation" in a party political broadcast.
Labour leader Ed Miliband made the comment in an advert he filmed at the Vicarage Road hospital during a two-day visit last month.
In broadcast, which was released today, Mr Miliband said: "This hospital has really desperately needed modernisation. There was a plan under the last Labour government. It was got rid of by this government to modernise the hospital.
"It was really interesting going to the maternity ward because there is one bit that's new, the birthing centre, and there's quite a lot of it, the old bit that has got peeling paint. And, you know, if you're giving birth it really matters whether the facilities are good enough or not good enough."
The hospital takes centre stage in four-minute film and shows footage of Mr Miliband shadowing staff and talking to patients.
The Labour MP uses his experience at the hospital as a platform to launch his pledge to shorten the time it takes people to see a GP. He also says his experience at the hospital made him "impatient to be Prime Minister."
Over the last decade there have been a number of plans to regenerate Watford General Hospital.
During the last Government there were plans drawn up under the health campus scheme to use a private finance initiative to fund a new 600 bed hospital along with 500 new homes.
However the plan was ditched during the recession and the Coalition Government has abandoned PFIs as a method of funding infrastructure projects.
Since then Watford Borough Council has organised a new health campus scheme to regenerate the land around the hospital with developers Kier, which would see up to 750 homes built.
This scheme has run into trouble over its plans to concrete over the Farm Terrace Allotments, which is being challenged in the High Court.
Also the extent to the hospital redevelopment is now uncertain. Space has been left in the plans for the hospital to expend. Meanwhile the health trust in charge of the hospital has said it will not know what it wants to do until after it completes its clinical strategy review in mid 2015.
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