Almost £1million plugged into improving surgery at nearby hospital, as Trust’s chairman announces he will step down

St Albans Hospital
St Albans Hospital
  • More than £900,000 to be spent upgrading day surgery services at nearby St Albans Hospital
  • Move will ease pressure on other West Herts hospitals, Hemel Hempstead and Watford
  • News comes as chair of Trust behind the sites announces he will step down in October

Almost £1million is being invested into nearby St Albans Hospital improve its day surgery services, which performed more than 12,000 operations last year.

It is expected the move will benefit the other hospitals under the West Herts NHS Trust including Hemel Hempstead and Watford, by reducing strain on facilities.

Of the cash boost, £700,000 is being spent to relocate and upgrade the ward where patients are cared for after their surgery, with work on this phase already underway and due to be completed by June.

A further £200,000 will be spent from May on building a new centralised admissions lounge where patients go prior to having their day surgery.

This includes pre-assessment clinics, which reduce the number of cancelled operations.

Medical director Dr Mike van der Watt said: “St Albans Hospital is the official home of day surgery at our hospitals and we receive great feedback from our patients about the care and support they receive there.

Mahdi Hasan is stepping down from his role as chairman of Hemel Hempstead, St Albans and Watford Hospitals

Mahdi Hasan is stepping down from his role as chairman of Hemel Hempstead, St Albans and Watford Hospitals

“This new investment has many benefits, including speeding up the time it takes patients to be seen and be operated on. Patients will also be looked after in a more modern environment.

“We will also be able to expand the number of patients we can treat on a day-case basis, which will help take the pressure off our other hospitals, in particular Watford.”

The news comes alongside the announcement that the chairman of the Trust behind West Herts’ three hospitals is to step down after almost three years, to move to Scotland.

Mahdi Hasan, who previously acted as the Trust’s non-executive director for seven years, will continue to chair Watford, Hemel Hempstead and St Albans hospitals until the end of his term in October – when he will migrate north of the border to be nearer his daughters.

We will be able to expand the number of patients we can treat on a day-case basis, which will help take the pressure off our other hospitals

Mike van der Watt

Mr Hasan said: “I am honoured to have served as Chair of Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead hospitals and I will be sad to leave.

“My daughters and granddaughter live in Scotland and my wife and I have decided to move north of the border to be closer to them.

“My term of office as chair is due to end in October and I will hand over the reins to someone new.

“I have huge admiration for all of the doctors, nurses, midwives, porters, cleaners, receptionists and hundreds of other staff who work across our hospitals providing our patients with the best possible care.”

Chief executive of the Trust Jac Kelly said: “I have only worked with Mahdi for a couple of months, but I have been very impressed with his commitment to our hospitals, patients and staff.

“Mahdi will be greatly missed. He is one of the most visible chairs I have worked with. He spends a lot of time on the wards of our hospitals and is well known amongst our staff.”

A recruitment process to replace Mr Hasan will begin shortly.