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Hospital trust achieves 'teaching hospital' status today
(1 December 2021)

Posted: 1 December 2021

Picture of staff smiling and standing in front of the Watford Hospital sign post holding a card with with the words 'teaching hospital' written on it

Photo: Director of Medical Education Dr Ashley Reece
and Chief People Officer Andrew McMenemy celebrate
West Herts achieving 'teaching hospital' status

West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has realised its 'teaching hospital' ambition and is now legally called West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. But it will keep its 'old' name for the time being and put the branding on the back burner whilst the demands of winter and managing Covid positive patients remain the top priorities.

Staff are also busy getting used to new ways of working with the rollout of an electronic patient record, which went live at the end of November.

Gaining 'teaching hospital' status reflects the dedicated work of many teams and individuals who have set the standard for delivering high quality training, learning and education at all levels of the workforce.

In addition to training medical students from University College London (UCL) and St George's University, Grenada, the trust works in partnership with the universities of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire to train and educate a wide range of nursing and allied healthcare professionals.

Whether it's the student nurse on placement providing care while learning on the job; a junior doctor on a ward round or in clinic learning from senior colleagues; or a radiographer who is being supported under clinical supervision to progress to the next stage of their career - teaching and learning are everyday activities for the clinical workforce across the trust's three hospitals.

The trust will keep its current identity until the official relaunch of its new name and status in April 2022. Chief executive Christine Allen said: "Achieving 'teaching' status is testament to the brilliant work of our teams whose daily business is educating the next generation of doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals. Our skills in this area are well known to those we train and teach and our academic partner organisations but it will be great to see this reflected in our new title. As well as bringing this aspect of what we do to the attention of the wider community, the name change will boost recruitment and retention which is hugely beneficial to the patients we care for. We couldn't be more delighted."

Director of medical education Dr Ashley Reece said: "Achieving our 'teaching hospital' ambition has been a long time in development, and a journey with many twists and turns, but it is fantastic to have reached this point. We can be proud of our commitment to grow and develop with education, training, learning and teaching taking a prominent and obvious place in our identity."

West Herts is a valued delivery partner of UCL's medical undergraduate programme. In recognition of the importance of this change in status, the trust will work with UCL's medical school to appoint a new non-executive director to join the West Herts board with special responsibility for this relationship.

The trust engaged with the community about its 'teaching' ambition and shared its plans with healthcare and wider system partners, partner higher education institutions, regional MPs and leaders, and patient groups, who responded with glowing messages of support.


  1. Further details of the trust's teaching commitment and its journey to 'teaching hospital' status can be found here: Our Teaching Hospital ambition: Showcasing our significant teaching commitment.
  2. For more information, please contact the communications team on: 01923 436280 or email: Out of hours, please call the Watford General Hospital switchboard on 01923 244366 and ask for the on call communications manager.
  3. 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.
  4.  For more information about our hospitals, visit You can also join our followers on Twitter ( and find us on Facebook (