The future of our local hospital is back at the top of the local news agenda. After many years of the council making tough decisions, such as providing a new access road and the much-needed land for new health facilities, it is looking very likely that we will be seeing £300 million worth improvements to Watford General Hospital.

This is great news for the town. My three children were born in the hospital and I know just how hard the staff work there to provide an excellent level of care. However, they are let down by desperately out of date facilities. The plans which we have seen, which include a new multi-storey car park, new 21st century buildings and much-improved clinical facilities would revolutionise healthcare provision for people living in our town and the surrounding area.

Over the last few years, we have often heard arguments put forward by others who have suggested we build a brand new hospital in an unspecified location outside of the town. Not only have these plans been independently assessed as unaffordable and consistently rejected by experts, they would also mean that health services would leave Watford and result in the slow death of our local hospital. This would have been bad news for our town but would have also led to even more uncertainty and delay for patients across south west Hertfordshire who are in need of modern health facilities.

What’s clear is that the time for talking is over. If we want the best for our town, we must all come together to encourage the Government to support the plans to bring our hospital facilities into the 21st century. Patients, staff and all of us rely on our hospital deserve nothing less.

  • Peter Taylor is Elected Mayor of Watford