Following the news that construction of the new multi-storey car park at Watford General Hospital has commenced, now is the time to embrace the wider plans that will overhaul the three hospitals in West Herts and provide staff and patients with state-of-the-art facilities that are fit for purpose and able to meet the needs of an NHS that is constantly growing, adapting and modernising.

The exciting plans that West Hertfordshire NHS Trust have shared will mean that Watford General will retain emergency, specialist, and complex care.

The Hemel Hempstead site will focus on planned medical care and long-term conditions, while St Albans will be the home of planned surgical care and cancer services.

Read more: Construction of hospital's new multi-storey car park underway

Hospital redevelopment 'likely to cost more than £590 million'

Each hospital having a defined role is driven by a wish to improve clinical outcomes, reduce waiting times and improve the patient experience. All three sites are equally important; their success will come from the way they work together to provide a comprehensive range of care for local residents. Strengthening the services by having speciality teams together and the benefit of enhanced diagnostic equipment can only be a good thing. As chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Digital Health I am excited at the prospect of Watford having modern buildings and the best technology.

Artists impressions of the proposed rebuilding of Watford General Hospital. Images: West Herts Hospitals Trust/BDP

An artist's impression of the proposed rebuilding of Watford General Hospital. Images: West Herts Hospitals Trust/BDP

Having volunteered at Watford General for more than a year now, I have seen first-hand the dedication of its remarkable staff and the urgent need to create a better environment for them and for patients. The clinical staff and the leadership team have worked so hard for so long to get to this point. The planning application is about much more than buildings – it reflects the trust’s focus on the needs of patients – now and in the future.

The best and quickest route to new and better healthcare is the plan which has been put forward by the trust and which has the backing of its clinical staff. I do believe that we should now close the door on all other ideas as they will only lead to delays.

The proposals mean a local NHS service that is bigger, greener, better – let’s all get behind it and show our support.

Watford Observer:

  • Dean Russell is Conservative MP for Watford