Campaigners call for town health campus

A campaign group has sprung into action in a bid to secure a health campus for the people of Dacorum as hospital chiefs draw up a plan for the future of emergency medical care.

Bosses at the West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust are currently developing a clinical and financial strategy.

As part of this top tier health managers, including trust chief executive Samantha Jones, are meeting with medical staff, patient representatives and NHS partners.

The Dacorum Hospital Action Group has taken the opportunity to discuss the possibility of a health campus on the site of Hemel Hempstead Hospital.

Now downgraded to an urgent care centre, many of the hospital’s buildings stand unused and empty.

Campaign group chairman Betty Harris said: “The period from now to November will be crucial in determining the future of health services in Hemel Hempstead.

“What was discussed was a health campus for Dacorum on the Hemel Hempstead Hospital site.

“This would include full diagnostics including a replacement for the ageing MRI scanner and we would be expecting not only existing services on the site but the addition of community trust services and social care so that a seamless service can be provided.

“Dacorum Hospital Action Group believes that at the very least one of the promises made – that of providing elective surgery at Hemel Hempstead – should at last be fulfilled.

“This is the opportunity to give patients a state-of-the-art elective surgery unit that was promised 10 years ago.”

No decisions have been made by the trust about the strategy, which will be published later this year and subject to public consultation.

However, Mrs Jones has said that she expects healthcare to be delivered from all three hospital sites in Hemel Hempstead, Watford and St Albans.