The number of people going to A&E in Watford has gone up 15 per cent compared to a year ago, piling pressure on beds.
Jan Filochowski, chief executive at West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust, says the scaling back of A&E in Welwyn Garden City has caused the increase, which is putting pressure on the trust’s 600 beds.
Coupled with delayed discharges, Mr Filochowski said this ‘creates the need for 50 extra beds’.
He said there were around 50 beds open on the Hemel Hempstead Hospital site.
“That will continue for the moment but the long-term idea is that it shouldn’t be necessary,” he said.
Campaigners have called for inpatient beds to stay on the Hemel Hempstead site, where a decision on refurbishment or a rebuild is predicted within six months.
Full A&E in the town closed in 2009.