Architects appointed for Welwyn Garden City’s new hospital

ARCHITECTS have been appointed to oversee the design of the local general hospital (LGH) that will replace the QE2 as we know it.

The project is “on schedule” to open in 2013, with construction work due to start next year on the site in Howlands, WGC.

With plans to move major services from the QE2 to the Lister Hospital in Stevenage gathering pace, many people, including Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps, had raised eyebrows over the apparent lack of progress on the LGH.

In last week’s Welwyn Hatfield Times Mr Shapps said the Lister was currently like a building site and he wanted to know what is exactly going on at the QE2.

NHS East and North Hertfordshire – the brand name for the PCT – confirmed this week it is on track as it appointed London-based designers Penoyre & Prasad.

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Programme director Jacqui Bunce revealed a number of “high quality bids” had been received.

The project is being led by Assemble Community Partnership – a joint venture between the PCT, private sector partner Guildhouse UK and the Department of Health.

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Building experts were also called upon to help with the appointment, to ensure the chosen architects could deliver a sustainable, flexible site.

Mrs Bunce said: “The PCT will work on the preparation of a business case to set out the financial implications of the development and to assess affordability and value for money.

“Alongside this work goes the finalising of the masterplan, which sets out in more detail the precise location of all the buildings that are going to be located on the site as whole.

“We have always been fully committed to providing a local general hospital on the QE2 site to ensure Welwyn Hatfield patients have access to high quality healthcare close to their homes.

“The appointment of an architect means we can now move forward with further detailed planning work to ensure the hospital is ready to open its doors at the end of 2013.”

She added: “We will also work closely with local community representatives as the development progresses.”

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