Smashing news - demolition paves the way for new health facility!

Published: 12 February 2024

Demolition started today (Monday) to make way for three new operating theatres and a surgical procedure room at St Albans City Hospital.
Demolition started today (Monday) to make way for three new operating theatres and a surgical procedure room at St Albans City Hospital.

New operating theatres and shorter waiting times are on the horizon for patients from Hertfordshire and west Essex, with work in full swing for a new regional health facility.

Demolition started today (Monday) to make way for three new operating theatres and a surgical procedure room at St Albans City Hospital, all due to open their doors this coming winter.

Patients from across Hertfordshire and west Essex who are waiting for non-complex orthopaedic surgery, spinal injections or ear, nose and throat (ENT) procedures will be invited to choose this new health facility for their care.

A whole new block is being built next to the current theatre suite, where two of the theatres and the procedure room will be for patients whose care is provided by either East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust or West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

As well as a shorter waiting times, there will be an extremely low risk of cancellations or delays because the schedules are not affected by emergency surgery. More than 4,400 patients will be treated each year, with around half going home on the same day and others staying for a maximum of just one night.

Those who need more specialised care will be seen at The Lister, The Princess Alexandra or Watford General, depending on which of these would normally provide their hospital care. Patients who could be treated in St Albans but would prefer to be seen at the hospital nearest to them can choose to wait a bit longer if that is their preference.

Staff from all three of the hospital trusts will work together to form a combined theatre team, which will be bolstered by new recruits. Roles at the new ‘elective care hub’ are being advertised to existing staff this month, with external adverts to follow later this year.

Michael Meredith, director of strategy and estates at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, who leads the project, said: “It’s fantastic to see the demolition start, as it takes us a step nearer to being able to run an efficient and professional surgical facility for patients across Hertfordshire and west Essex.

“By treating patients sooner, we can improve their experiences and outcomes. This is a real step change in the way we provide care for our communities.”

Whilst added parking is planned, spaces will be at a premium during the demolition and throughout the construction phase and so anyone visiting the St Albans City Hospital site is asked to consider public transport, if possible, or drop off and pick up.