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Statement relating to the New Hospital Programme's request to see three interim cost options for new build and refurbishment at West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust

Posted: 2 August 2021

Picture comprising pictures of the three hospital sites at the trust

Statement relating to the New Hospital Programme’s request to see three interim cost options for new build and refurbishment at West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust

The trust’s acute redevelopment programme director, Duane Passman, said:

"At this early stage, we are working with the New Hospital Programme to ensure value for money and no expectations have been set about maximum costs.

"All of the options we are working on are based on retaining our current three hospital sites and will be publicly available when our OBC is completed later this year or in early 2022."

"Our outline planning application for the Watford site has just been approved by the local council. Our vision is for each hospital to have a clearly defined purpose and to maintain a range of local services.

"Emergency, inpatient and complex care will remain at Watford General; Hemel Hempstead Hospital will be the site for planned medical care and long term conditions and St Albans City Hospital will provide planned surgery and cancer care. Urgent care services and some outpatient services will be provided at all three sites. Diagnostic facilities will be significantly upgraded at all three hospitals and the latest digital technology will be incorporated

"There is also strong clinical support for this model."

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said:

"We remain on track to deliver 40 new hospitals across England by 2030 to transform services for local communities, backed by an initial £3.7 billion. Together with eight existing schemes, this will mean 48 hospitals by the end of the decade.

“This is the biggest hospital building programme in a generation so we are working closely with the NHS trusts involved to plan how and when new hospitals will be built across the decade, so new services for patients and staff open on time and within budget.

"As part of our plans to build back better, all the hospitals will prioritise sustainability, digital technology and the latest construction methods to see them built as quickly as possible, to the highest standards."

The Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson also said that the NHS England and NHS Improvement joint central programme team is working closely with all NHS trusts involved to plan how and when new hospitals will be built across the decade to make sure it meets its target with this delivery programme. This includes considering how it phases the whole hospital building programme so it can work with similarly developed trusts to maximise the benefits for other schemes.

The spokesperson also said the government has committed to the delivery of all 48 hospitals by 2030. To ensure it can deliver on this commitment, the portfolio of schemes have been grouped into phases with activity sequenced across the decade based upon maturity of projects and the real world constraints facing any significant infrastructure programme. Upfront financial affordability will always need to be considered alongside the benefits of each scheme as part of the options appraisal.

The spokesperson added that any potential material growth in cost beyond initial plans will always need full consideration given the need for financial discipline across the whole portfolio of 48 hospitals. It is therefore right and proper to engage trusts on the cost/benefits of a range of options. Individual scheme allocations are finalised once the Full Business Case has been approved.


  1. For more information, please contact the communications team on: 01923 436280 or email: < a href="">,/a>. Out of hours, please call the Watford General Hospital switchboard on 01923 244366 and ask for the on call communications manager.
  2. West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust serves people from across Hertfordshire, north London and further afield. It operates from three hospitals; Watford General, St Albans City and Hemel Hempstead. The trust has a catchment area of over 500,000 people and is one of the largest employers locally, with around 5,000 staff and volunteers.
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