Beds, Herts & Bucks

West Hertfordshire hospital campaigners raise £20k for judicial review

Artist's impression of new entrance for Watford General Hospital. Image copyright Office of the mayor of Watford
Image caption Watford General Hospital will be refurbished under the CCG's plans

Campaigners who want a new hospital have raised £20,000 to take local NHS planners to a judicial review.

The New Hospital Campaign (NHC) had already been told it could bring a case against Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) over plans to develop health services.

Now funds are secured, the High Court will review the CCG's decision not to hold a full public consultation.

The CCG said it was "defending the judicial review claim".

Plans to invest in existing hospitals in west Hertfordshire, rather than build a new one, were agreed by health bosses in July.

The CCG and the West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust (WHHT) want to bid for £350m of healthcare improvements with investment planned for services in Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead with Watford General being refurbished.

The NHC, mounted by the Dacorum Hospital Action Group (DHAG) and other groups, want a new hospital, more central to all three locations.

'Think again'

Last month, campaigners received High Court approval to bring a case against the CCG - with the WHHT named as an interested party - and a judge also set a cap on the group's possible costs.

A fundraising campaign has now secured the funds.

Image copyright Google
Image caption St Albans City Hospital is set to receive a £30m investment

Edie Glatter, from the NHC, said: "They haven't properly considered a new hospital - we want them to think again.

"It is essential the local health bodies run a full and fair consultation, including taking a serious look at building a new hospital on a clear site that everyone in West Hertfordshire can get to.

"It is the only way our local hospital provision can be transformed as it truly needs to be, because it is in far worse condition than that of most other areas."

A spokeswoman for Herts Valleys CCG said: "We at Herts Valleys CCG, together with colleagues at West Herts Hospitals Trust, were very pleased with the recent announcement of funding for plans to carry out extensive redevelopment of current hospital facilities.

"Further details are awaited and we are also defending the judicial review claim brought by a group of local campaigners.'

A date for the full hearing has not been announced.

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