Campaigners fighting for a new hospital to be built in west Hertfordshire have shared their concerns about current plans to redevelop hospital sites in Watford and St Albans at a meeting with NHS bosses.

Outline plans to redevelop Watford General and St Albans City hospitals have been put forward by West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

However the New Hospital Campaign group argues that building a brand new hospital on a greenfield site would be quicker, cheaper and more effective.

After meeting the group in Westminster last month, NHS Improvement chief executive Jim Mackey wrote to Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning, who arranged the meeting, outlining the ways in which the trust’s plans would be scrutinised.

In his letter to Mr Penning, the NHS Improvement boss confirmed there were errors in its original travel time analysis, with subsequent work supporting the view of the campaign group that there is a travel time benefit for the greenfield site in Kings Langley.

Mr Penning said: “This is good news for us. In particular, he (Mr Mackey) indicated that the number of options put forward by the trust was too narrow and more options should be considered.

“If, when they put forward their formal response, they stick to this, then this pushes open the door for other options. I hope that this will include a new hospital option.

“Basically the trust has abandoned any suggestion of a new hospital, but this letter indicates that NHS Improvement want to be able to consider more alternatives. This would be great news for us.

“All the hospital campaigners agreed with me that it had been a very constructive meeting and I am delighted that NHS Improvement is taking the concerns of the campaigners seriously.”