WHHT - Annual Report 05/06

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Annual Report 2005-2006: Our Future

Trust Joins Forces to Transform West Watford

In March 2006, the Trust and its eight partners, who together make up the Watford Health Campus project, pledged their support for the estimated £750 million urban regeneration project, which includes the new acute hospital for west Hertfordshire.

A major master planning exercise, unveiled at Watford Football Club’s Vicarage Road Stadium on March 17, revealed what the area could look like. At its heart is a brownfield site just a few minutes’ walk from Watford town centre. By redeveloping the west Watford area, an urban neighbourhood will be reconnected to the town centre. Currently, much of the 26.5 hectares of land is poorly used, but through careful design, master planners are confident this will be transformed into a quality environment in which to live, work and play.

The Health Campus plans embrace a mix of around 400 residential accommodation units, some of which will be affordable and key worker homes. The resultant regeneration will encourage businesses to take up space in a new business hub, bringing jobs to the town. The plans also include a green travel plan to ease traffic congestion, and more public green space for the community.

A key part of the Watford Health Campus strategy is to develop a Combined Heat & Power plant. Such a system would allow heat created during the generation of electricity to be used to provide heating to the hospital and other Campus developments, rather than being disposed of to atmosphere, as is the case with standard electrical generation. The Campus plans enable further environmentally sound developments. Roof water from the hospital, which would normally be disposed of to sewers, can be captured and redistributed to allow the football club to water their pitch and, potentially, to support the allotment users adjacent to the site.

The local community and regional stakeholders have been involved in the design process from its inception and their feedback has helped to ensure that land and other resources are used as efficiently as possible and reflect the character of Watford.

Dorothy Thornhill, elected Mayor of Watford said: "This is a real step forward in developing this area of Watford, which has positive implications not only for the town itself, but the whole of the county.”

The nine partners are:

The Trust is developing its Outline Business Case (OBC) to support its application for this project and plans to submit the OBC to the East of England Strategic Health Authority and the Department of Health in 2007. The Trust’s aim as set out in the Investing In Your Health strategy is the redevelopment of west Hertfordshire hospitals.

*Now superseded by the East of England Strategic Health Authority.

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Improving Hospital Facilities

Over the past year a variety of refurbishments of wards and clinical areas have taken place, including:

Work to improve fire safety in the Princess Michael of Kent Wing and the Maternity unit at Watford General Hospital has recently been completed, and ensures we meet our obligations under the statutory requirements.

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Research and Development

In April, the Research and Development Departments of West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust and East and North Herts NHS Trusts merged to become Hertfordshire Hospitals R & D Consortium. The new structure is now in place to deliver systems to ensure that all research is managed in accordance with Local and National Guidelines and, in particular, the Department of Health Research Governance Framework.

The Trust has nine R&D programmes, mainly in Plastic Surgery & Burns, Rheumatology and Renal. The past year has also seen the establishment of a new joint post between the University of Hertfordshire and the Research and Development Departments to provide statistical and methodological support to researchers on hospital sites.

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Relationships with Primary Care

The Trust is actively supporting local PCTs' plans to develop clinical assessment and treatment services, and it is bidding to provide many of these services. This new model of care will reduce the need for patients to travel to main hospital sites for diagnosis and treatment, and reduce waiting times for a range of conditions. The Trust's key relationships in the delivery of care continue to be with General Practitioners, community-based healthcare staff, and local social services. Over the past year there has been a significant improvement in the working arrangements between the Trust and Adult Care Services of Hertfordshire County Council aimed particularly at smoothing patient discharge from hospital. The development of practice-based commissioning by GPs is bringing closer engagement between GPs and the Trust. 

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Download a copy of the Trust's Annual Report:

2005/2006 Annual Report

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