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Hospital services in West Hertfordshire

Strategic Outline Case

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group have been working on plans to secure funding for major redevelopment of the estate.

This work started some time ago in autumn 2017, when the Trust submitted a Strategic Outline Case (SOC) to regulators for formal review. NHS Improvement and NHS England fed back with two key points; firstly they acknowledged the need for funding and secondly that public money for hospital redevelopment is limited with strong competition from other hospitals across the country. In response to feedback from regulators the Trust is working on a refresh of the SOC. The full version of the original SOC is available to view here.

The future of hospital services is a key element of the Your Care, Your Future vision for a healthier West Hertfordshire which looks at how best to provide health and social care services. This reflects the national picture and challenges described by the NHS Five Year Forward View. You can also read more about the NHS Long Term Plan launched in January 2019.

Follow this link for frequently asked questions about the refresh of the strategic outline case.

Board meetings and draft strategic outline case

The boards of West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust and the CCG met together on 6 June 2019 to discuss four shortlisted options for hospital redevelopment and to reach agreement on the emerging preferred way forward for securing major investment in local hospital facilities. Link to board papers for this meeting.

View the board presentation showing indicative plans for each of the four shorlisted options

Both boards provided indicative support for option one. This option would see all three existing hospital sites retained and developed. It would provide the greatest amount of investment in the Watford General Hospital site with new clinical buildings housing theatres and critical care as well as women and children’s services and a refurbishment of the Princess Michael of Kent building, allowing significant improvement to inpatient ward accommodation. There would also be investment on the Hemel Hempstead and St Albans City Hospital sites. Hemel Hempstead would become a planned medical centre with services, including a newly provided urgent treatment centre, consolidated into a redeveloped complex. St Albans City Hospital would be enhanced as a planned surgical facility including a new cancer and surgical centre with diagnostic suite as well as refurbishments to theatres and inpatient beds and the development of a small high dependency unit.

The redevelopment described in option one formed the basis of the draft strategic outline case (SOC) document.

On Thursday 11 July the WHHT board met and approved a strategic outline case detailing a way forward based on option one from a shortlist of four that have been through a detailed evaluation process. The Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group board met that afternoon to consider the proposed way forward and endorsed the trust board’s decision.

The draft SOC and accompanying documents, including a report of the engagement that we have carried out with public and stakeholders, are part of the papers for the board meetings but we have also provided a link to those key documents below.

Read the final SOC

Read the report of public and stakeholder engagement


Options evaluation panel

The options outlined in the public meetings were examined by an evaluation panel. This panel examined a range of options from various aspects including patient care, accessibility and how they complement other parts of the health and care system locally. The panel was made up of clinicians and managers from the NHS and partner organisations and patient and public representatives from across west Herts to represent a range of stakeholder views. Members of the public were invited to express their interest in joining the panel and further background information on this can be found here.

The slides from each panel meeting can be viewed below as follows:

February 2019 panel meeting and follow this link for background information pack.

Detailed information has been gathered to inform the outputs that were presented at the first options panel evaluation meeting. Please click on the links for further details as follows:

- Demand and capacity information and analysis

- Travel Analysis and Catchment Area information

- Site Option Review

- HM Treasury guidance on how to appraise and evaluate policies, projects and programmes.

The second panel meeting was held in March and you can view the slides here and a further panel meeting was held in May and the slide pack from this meeting is available via this link

Public Meetings

Autumn 2018: A series of public meetings took place in Hertsmere, Dacorum, St Albans and Watford. The meetings gave an update on the work being undertaken to refresh the SOC. The meetings explained that West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group are taking another look at plans and funding requirements following feedback from regulators.The presentation slides from the public meetings can be viewed here.

January 2019: This event shared details of how the options for hospital redevelopment are shaping up and explained the process for evaluating and shortlisting options.The presentation from the meeting can be viewed here. If you attended this meeting please give us your feedback here. Your responses will help in future planning. You can also read press information about this stage of the process here.

March 2019: The public meeting shared details of the shortlisted options that are being considered and invited people to comment on these in advance of the options being examined at the second evaluation panel meeting. You can find details of the presentation via this link and further information about the meeting.

June 2019: This meeting updated people on the results of the stakeholder and financial evaluation of the options and on the emerging preferred option that came out of a meeting of the hospital trust and CCG boards. Please follow this link for further detail about the Board meeting. See under ‘6 June’ and ‘WHHT Acute redevelopment options - indicative plans’. The presentation from the June public meeting can be viewed here. This meeting was also filmed in response to requests from people who were not able to attend. You can view the event on the Herts Valleys CCG YouTube channel here.

Next steps

Following the decision made on 11 July the bid will be submitted to NHS regulators and central government at the end of July for consideration as part of the comprehensive spending review.