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Health minister Philip Dunne hears about Trust's improvement journey

Posted: 2 November 2016
Kate Ewer, Communications and Engagement Manager

Minister for Health, Philip Dunne MP, accompanied by local MP Richard Harrington, visited Watford General Hospital last Thursday to see first-hand the improvement journey West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust (WHHT) has taken since its inspection by the Care Quality Commission last year.

Picture of Minister for Health, Philip Dunne MP; MP for Watford, Richard Harrington; Medical Director Dr Mike van der Watt and Dr Arif Hamda standing around talkingMedical Director Dr Mike van der Watt led the minister and Richard Harrington on a tour of the Alexandra Birthing Centre, Emergency Department (ED), Windsor Unit and our Ambulatory Care Unit. Staff also had an opportunity to share their views informally with the minister at the end of his visit.

The Ambulatory Care Unit, which opened in 2014 is now one of the busiest in the country, and treats people on the same day they have attended to help them get home sooner with the right support. Our Windsor Unit, which officially opened this August, provides comprehensive geriatric assessment to frail adults attending the hospital as an emergency. The work of these units helps to improve patient flow within the hospital by reducing unnecessary hospital admissions and getting patients to where they’d rather be, which is at home.

Professor Steve Barnett, Chairman of the Trust, said: "We were delighted to welcome Philip Dunne and our local MP Richard Harrington to Watford General. The minister listened with great interest to staff about the care they provide in our birthing centre and across our emergency departments. He also learned about the great strides we have made in our quality improvement plan and our plans for the future."

Minister Philip Dunne said: "I was pleased to meet the midwives and also the innovative teams across emergency care and to hear about their initiatives which help patients get home sooner. I have seen first-hand the commitment of staff towards quality improvement and patient care. I also enjoyed the chance to meet staff informally for an open discussion about current pressures and opportunities."

MP for Watford, Richard Harrington, said: "I’m pleased that the minister took up my invitation to visit Watford General so he could see how committed staff are to their improvement journey and to providing excellent patient care. I’ve always been a strong supporter of the Trust and am confident that the hospital is doing all the right things to provide the best possible care for patients in West Hertfordshire."


For more information about our hospitals, visit www.westhertshospitals.nhs.uk. You can also join our near 5,324 followers on Twitter (twitter.com/westhertsNHS) or find us on Facebook (facebook.com/westhertsNHS).

  1. For more information, please contact Kate Ewer, Senior Communications Officer in the Trust’s communications department on telephone: 01923 436 281 or email: info@whht.nhs.uk. Out of hours, please call 07900 228 031.
  2. West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust is a large acute trust serving people from across Hertfordshire, north London and further afield. It operates from three sites at Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead hospitals and sees about 600,000 patients a year. We are one of the largest employers locally, with around 4,500 staff and volunteers.