We are living longer and beating all sorts of illnesses, but sometimes this is despite the creaking facilities on which the NHS relies. Let’s do this properly? The NHS is a British triumph, but it relies on out-dated buildings too much, with 1960’s configurations preventing 21 st Century patient-flow – and this makes it financially inefficient. Patients at Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead are being treated in buildings that are make-do-and–mend, and on a site that is next to a football-club, a long way south of where – in St Albans and Hemel Hempstead – thousands and thousands of houses are about to be built in the next 20 years.
We have a local Trust struggling to keep up with maintenance requirements, and yet estimates to build similar hospitals, not so far away (Harlow, hello), which make the West Herts greenfield build look achievable, especially if there is a co-ordinated project in which local Districts and Boroughs all help to fund it by thinking together. By co-locating some other community assets and services, and putting this build at the heart of a regional plan, we could get the hospital and the standard of treatment and care that is needed for all of West Hertfordshire.
- A hospital which is designed to employ health resources and people most efficiently helps to improve patient-care, and means that staff can do more with the time and resources they have.
- A hospital in a well-chosen site, where sick and injured people can recover, surrounded by greenery – let’s be smart and use every therapeutic circumstance we can include in the plan!
- A hospital where the parking isn’t exorbitant (because it isn’t competing with shoppers and work-commuters).
Surely we can come together without party politics, to provide for our hard-working people and deserving retired population?