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Road subsidence at Watford General Hospital

Posted: 22 August 2022

Picture of Watford General Hospital

Emergency repairs will take place on water supply pipes at Watford General Hospital, following a leak which has led to part of the road collapsing outside the Princess Michael of Kent (PMoK) main clinical building yesterday (Sunday).

As a result, a hole of approx. 2m by 1m and with a depth of 0.5m has appeared and so traffic around the site is being redirected, apart from emergency ambulances whose route into the emergency department (along Thomas Sawyer Way and Willow Lane) remains unaffected.

The trust would like to thank its security staff who spotted signs of subsidence yesterday. The area was quickly cordoned off and remains out of bounds for vehicles. Pedestrian access remains.

The road surface has been affected by an underground leak from the mains water pipe that supplies PMoK and some other blocks on the site. Excess water has been pumped out, the leak is under control and water is continuing to be supplied to the hospital.

The supply will be temporarily turned off to allow a repair, which is being planned in line with advice from a structural engineer. Back up water supplies will be provided when the repair takes place. The timing of this has not yet been confirmed.

All patient services continue to run as normal, with the exception of a small number of dialysis sessions for renal patients. This service is provided by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust who will make a case by case basis decision on patients due to attend for dialysis.

Chief strategy officer Clare Parker said: “Our excellent estates team really have their work cut out with issues like this occurring far too often. This latest problem is yet another indication of how urgently we need investment for a new hospital on land next to Watford General Hospital.

“Much of our pipework - like so much of our infrastructure - dates from the 1960s and is now at the end of its life. Our concern is that the age and condition of our buildings means that more disruption will follow from other systems which are now at risk of failing.

“We are continuing to press the case for funding for a new hospital building at Watford and we believe this is a far better way to spend public money than continuing to patch up failing infrastructure. There is only so much we can do to keep our ageing estate in good working order, despite our diligence and best efforts.”

She added: “We would like to thank patients and visitors in advance and apologise for any inconvenience caused whilst we continue our work to resolve this issue and make our site safe.”

Read our Frequently Asked Questions regarding the road subsidence at Watford General Hospital.

  1. The proposed redevelopment of West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust’s estate is to update and replace hospital buildings as well as improve how the trust delivers hospital care for people in west Hertfordshire. At Watford General Hospital the trust proposes to move all clinical services into new buildings on land next to the current site as well as carrying out extensive refurbishment with some new build at its hospitals in Hemel Hempstead and St Albans. The trust is also redesigning how it will deliver services across the three hospital sites to provide modern hospital care. Please visit the trust’s redevelopment webpages to find out more at
  2. For more information, please contact the communications team on: 01923 436280 or email: For out of hours media enquiries 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 (