New Hospital Campaign launched at Berkhamsted Civic Centre

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A packed public meeting saw efforts to create a new hospital for West Herts begin afresh on Friday evening.

The New Hospital Campaign was launched at Berkhamsted Civic Centre, with support from Dacorum Patients’ Group (DPG) and Dacorum Hospital Action Group (DHAG).

Campaigners outlined their reasons for believing that the west of the county needs a new hospital, and not the plans to further downgrade Hemel Hempstead Hospital and spend money refurbishing Watford and St Albans.

Health planning expert Gordon Yearwood told the audience: “Whatever the health bosses’ figures show, it would cost a lot more to redevelop the Vicarage Road hospital because of its very inefficient layout than to build a new hospital on a greenfield site.

“They can pay consultants to prove anything.”

Edie Glatter, from the DHAG, said: “It looks as though after 150 years health bosses are about to complete their destruction of Hemel Hempstead Hospital.

“Dacorum has a population of around 150,000. With a population this size and growing fast with all the apartment buildings going up everywhere, and the predicted growth of 73 per cent in the over-65s within the next 20 years, we need an expansion of services rather than the cuts we will see in local provision.”

More public meetings are expected over the coming months. To sign the petition supporting plans for a new hospital for West Hertfordshire, visit https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/169500