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Green light given for judicial review challenge of £350 million hospital redevelopment plan

A judicial review into the allocation of funding for hospital services in Hertfordshire is to take place after campaigners for a new hospital successfully applied for a judicial review of the plan to redevelop the area's existing hospitals.

Last year Herts Valleys CCG and the West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust (WHHT) submitted a £350 million plan to NHS regulators and central government.

Part of those plans involved a major transformation of the Watford General Hospital site and significant investment in the Hemel Hempstead and St Albans hospital sites.

But the New Hospital Campaign (NHC), which was created in response to the decision, suggested that the option of creating a new hospital was not properly considered in the decision-making process.

The campaign group has claimed they have evidence to show that building a new hospital would be more affordable than the chosen plan.

On its crowd-funding page, the group said: “One of our expert colleagues has produced thorough and detailed research demonstrating this, and also that a brand new centrally-located hospital can be built for far less than revamping the inadequate Vicarage Road site.

“What’s more, it can be built in a much shorter time and give a far better result, custom-designed as a 21st-century, state-of-the-art hospital on a clear, accessible site.

“The health chiefs have taken no notice of the people they are supposed to be serving. We have clear evidence that their minds were made up before they investigated costs. They have just been going through the motions.”

In November 2019, the group raised £20,000 from residents to mount the judicial review which is now scheduled to be heard from 27 to 28 October 2020.

The NHC is being represented by Leigh Day together with barristers David Wolfe and Emma Foubister from the Matrix Chambers.

Adam Carey