Election 2019

UK results: Conservatives win majority

After 650 of 650 seats declared
UK results
Party Conservative Labour Scottish National Party Liberal Democrat Democratic Unionist Party Others
Seats 365 203 48 11 8 15
Change +47 -59 +13 -1 -2 +2

Election 2019: What will you do about A&E provision in West Hertfordshire?

Artist's impression of new entrance for Watford General Hospital. Image copyright Office of the mayor of Watford
Image caption Watford General Hospital will be refurbished under the NHS's plans

There is a "huge lack of A&E in Hertfordshire. Why is ours in a Victorian hospital in a congested town next to a football club?"

Carol Hylton, from Hertfordshire, sent this question to BBC News ahead of the general election on 12 December.

The four candidates for Hemel Hempstead, one of the affected constituencies, all responded with their answers.

NHS provision in West Hertfordshire - the background

People in West Hertfordshire needing an accident and emergency department travel to Watford General Hospital in Vicarage Road, next to the Watford Football Club's ground.

Accident and emergency departments, and other services, in both Hemel Hempstead and St Albans hospitals have closed.

In July, plans to invest in existing hospitals, rather than build a new one serving the area, were agreed by NHS bosses.

Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (HVCCG) and the West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust (WHHT) want to bid for £350m of healthcare improvements with investment planned for services in Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead, with Watford General being refurbished.

Campaigners want a new hospital, more central to the three centres of population.

The New Hospital Campaign (NHC) has raised £20,000 to take the HVCCG to a judicial review where the High Court will review the CCG's decision not to hold a full public consultation over its development plans.

In October, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the WHHT would be one of six trusts to benefit from £2.7bn for six new hospitals and it is due to get £400m.

Image copyright Google
Image caption St Albans City Hospital is also set to benefit under the CCG's plans

Nabila Ahmed (Labour)

"The current provision and planned provision at the Watford site is unacceptable.

"Residents in Hemel need accessible NHS services and I will fight if elected to make sure that happens.

"Labour will fully fund the NHS and I will make sure Hemel residents benefit from this."

Sammy Barry (Liberal Democrat)

"I find it incredibly frightening that patients in Hertfordshire are being abandoned, be it waiting for hours for treatment in A&E or for months in pain for routine operations.

"Currently in Hemel we have a number of health and wellbeing services located on the existing Hemel hospital site and scattered around the town. There are issues with all of them.

"I am passionate about ensuring these services are brought up to a standard that is fit for the 21st Century and meets the needs of local residents. If elected (and even if unsuccessful) I would make working towards these objectives my first priority."

Sherief Hassan (Green)

"You will hear from the Conservatives that Labour closed the hospital [A&E in Hemel Hempstead], but this is only partly true as I believe it was on the recommendation of the Conservative council.

"Both sides are culpable but basically there isn't enough funding. It's not one problem and not down to one party.

"What we need is serious investment and the Greens have a programme that will also devolve decisions to a local level. A new hospital is urgently required but this is just part of the problem - the other hospitals need upgrading as well."

Sir Mike Penning (Conservative, who won the seat in 2005, 2010, 2015 and 2017)

"Labour closed the A&E at Hemel Hempstead Hospital in 2006 and decided that it had to be in Watford.

"To have an acute hospital in a congested area next to a football ground in the 21st Century is farcical.

"We've been campaigning ever since for a new hospital on a greenfield site to serve the whole area. The site is available and the money is now available for a new hospital.

"We've got £400m so why they can't see sense I don't know. Nobody understands why they are fixated with the refurbishment of Watford."

Image copyright Google
Image caption Hemel Hempstead Hospital's A&E department closed in 2006

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