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Secretary of State visits Watford General Hospital

Posted: 15 January 2024

Secretary of State Victoria Atkins (right) with Chief Nurse Kelly McGovern and Dr Rachel Hoey Secretary of State Victoria Atkins (right) with Chief Nurse Kelly McGovern and Dr Rachel Hoey

West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust welcomed Victoria Atkins, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, to Watford General Hospital on Thursday 11 January 2024.

During the visit, the Secretary of State toured our control room, emergency department and virtual hospital; and reviewed our plans for building a new Watford General Hospital.

Commenting on the visit, Health and Social Care Secretary, Victoria Atkins said:

"I was delighted to meet staff at Watford General Hospital working in high tech control rooms monitoring every aspect of the care provided, as well as nurses working on virtual wards which deliver the highest quality care to people, digitally from the comfort of their own home.

Secretary of state Vitoria Atkins looks at a model of the new hospital Secretary of state Victoria Atkins views a model of the new Watford General Hospital

"The town will also benefit from a new hospital – so far backed by over £50 million in government funding – which will also help thousands of patients across the region.

"It is wonderful news for the local community that early work is already underway to prepare the site ahead of construction due to start at the end of 2026, and that doors will open to patients at the end of the decade."

Chief Redevelopment Officer, Alex White, said: "A new Watford General Hospital is a priority to allow us to give patients the best possible care. We’ve seen some excellent progress in recent weeks and have a clear plan to progress site preparation throughout 2024 and 2025. It was great to share our plans with the Secretary of State and hear her enthusiasm for the project moving to construction of the new building in 2026."


  1. For media enquiries, 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.
  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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