Quick reads

Please read the Your Care, Your Views document for detailed information about all our plans and proposals.

Our clinical brief sets out where we expect to deliver services in future and provides a blueprint from which our architect-led design team will work as they develop the detailed designs for our new hospital facilities. Clinical staff have been closely involved in its development.

Our clinical strategy (currently in draft) sets out the core elements of the transformation we need to achieve over the next five years to deliver the commitments in the NHS Long Term Plan and to ensure that we have made our clinical services fit for purpose and ready for the completion of our estate redevelopment.

Our clinical strategy describes how we will deliver the best care for every patient, every day: by working towards these three priorities:-

1. integrating care with primary (i.e. care from your GP) and community care (health visitors, for example)

2. personalising the care each patient receives (reflecting patient’s wishes and individual health needs)

3. providing consistent, best practice care

Our emergency and specialist care will be delivered from the Watford General site.

There is a strong view from clinicians that patients requiring 24/7 consultant-led emergency care should be retained on specialised care site because this provides the safest and most effective care, with access to the full range of specialist expertise and equipment.

The size and layout of the new ED (emergency department) will enable clinicians to have easy oversight of patients and their health data (using new technology) so that care can be tailored to those with the greatest clinical need. There will be assessment spaces and diagnostic equipment so that specialist teams can work in the ED, meaning that care will be provided around the patient rather than moving them because the specialist staff and equipment are in another part of the hospital.

Women’s and children’s services (with the exception of some outpatient, cancer, planned surgery and planned medical care) will be in the new hospital building at Watford. These services will be close to theatres, assessment facilities, diagnostics and the ED. This will reduce transfer time between departments. The new building will also have space for clinical teams to be based together.

Our approach to planned surgery is the same as our approach to planned medical care – consolidate, not duplicate. We think that better and safer services as well as increased staff satisfaction will come from grouping our surgical staff at St Albans where they will provide planned surgery and cancer care. Emergency and high risk surgery will be provided at Watford.

Hemel Hempstead hospital will have a new and unique purpose as the site for specialist planned medical care site for people in west Hertfordshire and be a centre of excellence for people who have long term and/or multiple conditions. Hundreds of thousands of patients every year will benefit from our plans to transform how this site works.

Diagnostics is front and centre to providing quality patient care because it determines the next steps of treatment and can provide answers and clarity when patients have been experiencing symptoms. We’re excited that there will be significant enhancements on all three sites.

We are aiming to create a new rapid diagnostics centre at St Albans, offering MRI, CT and other diagnostics including endoscopy and nuclear medicine (a medical imaging and treatment specialty using a gamma camera). This will provide extensive support to all patients, especially cancer patients and underlines our clinical strategy to have St Albans as our main planned surgery and cancer site.