© 2017 The Harpenden Society
Proposals to resurrect Harpenden’s Red House Hospital were considered at a well attended public meeting organised by The Harpenden Society. There was standing room only at Harpenden’s Park Hall on Thursday 21st February. Two senior NHS senior managers, a County Councillor and the team leader from The Harpenden Society made presentations and fielded questions from the public.
Eric Midwinter of the Harpenden Society set the scene by reminding everyone that the Red House, also known as Harpenden Memorial Hospital, is a threatened valuable amenity. He explained that The Harpenden Society set up a task-force known as “The Red House Forum” to initiate and progress action. The current meeting was a part of their activities. Eric stated that many firmly believe that it is vital to maintain local health facilities and to establish a 'Wellness Centre' within the town.
Teresa Heritage, County Councillor for Harpenden South West, started her presentation by explaining that she is the Deputy Executive Member for Health and Adult Care Services at the County Council, the portfolio covers all aspects of health and wellbeing. She told us about the new Health and Wellbeing Committee and its new strategy. Public Health will come under the auspices of the County Council from 1 April 2013. She promised to do all she could to come up with a working plan for the Red House explaining that there are many options ranging from renovation to demolition and rebuilding a new health facility.
Speakers from left to right, Eric Midwinter, Harpenden Society; Theresa Heritage, County Councillor for Hertfordshire South; Gerry Moir, Assistant Director Business Development Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust and David Law, Chief Executive of Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust
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The Harpenden Society held a public meeting on Thursday, October 24th to announce the NHS plan to redevelop the Red House also known as the Harpenden Memorial Hospital. The meeting was held in Park Hall, Harpenden.
The hall was filled to capacity which reflected the interest in this project. David Law, chief executive of the Herts Community NHS Trust, assisted by Mark Carman, the project manager, presented the proposal for a new Health and Wellbeing Campus.
The Harpenden campus will incorporate a range of facilities, including some residential, to deliver integrated health and social care, all in a welcoming and localised environment.
The audience listened intently and appreciatively to this clear-cut and comprehensive proposal. Questions were probing but positive and were raised concisely and answered competently. Great enthusiasm was shown for the scheme. The meeting was arranged by The Harpenden Society and the Red House Forum, the ginger group which has campaigned for such a way forward as this, and the whole evening proved to be invigorating. The attendees were clearly highly appreciative.
“We are overwhelmed by the delight and passion shown by everyone”, said Society chairman Chris Marsden. “It was so good to see so many people enthusiastically supporting the scheme. We are making excellent progress.”
Once all the necessary approvals have been given construction of the new facility could start as early as 2016.
Left to right: Eric Midwinter - Co-organiser of the Red House Forum and member of The Harpenden Society, David Law - Chief Executive Herts Community NHS Trust, Mark Carman – NHS Project Manager and Teresa Heritage - County Councillor for Harpenden South West and Red House Forum co-organiser.