Dear Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock,

It appears that funding for a new £600 million hospital in Harlow has been conditionally agreed. The Princess Alexandra Hospitals NHS Trust is part of the same STP as West Herts Hospital Trust (WHHT) but WHHT says I cannot afford to build a brand new hospital! What the heck is going on here?

The Princess Alexandra Hospitals NHS Trust serves approximately half the population of WHHT, has approximately half the turnover of WHHT but still manages to fund a new £600 million hospital. WHHT has dismissed the option of building a new hospital on a clear site on the grounds that the NHS regulators have said a new hospital for West Herts is not affordable.

Surely with the coronavirus pandemic impacting so severely on the operations of the NHS’s hospitals, a new A&E hospital on a clear site is the only sensible solution. Why would you even consider having hundreds of workmen working all around and within an operational hospital environment? Have no lessons been learnt as to the desperate need to have new state of the art hospitals, built to current and future NHS and environmental standards, with a large percentage of single rooms and capacity to cope with a fast growing and ageing population?

Please do not let WHHT’s board carry on with its short-sighted and high risk plans to partially redevelop the hard to get to Watford General Hospital on its horrendously steep slope.

Please, please direct it to follow the Harlow trust in building what is really needed now and for future generations and represents the best use of tax payers money: a brand new state of the art A&E for West Herts in a more accessible location for everyone living in the trust’s catchment area.

Andrew Love

St Albans resident