STRUCTURE: The PCT and West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust are to work together to develop Hemel Hempstead Hospital as a local general hospital providing a range of services for the community.

The hospital - which is part of WHHT - has lost some acute services in the last few years and some of its buildings are not currently in use. The future of some services on the site is still up for discussion - such as pathology - making it difficult to be definitive about its future use.

But predictions for the next 12 years see it largely retaining patient numbers, although with a greater emphasis on diagnostics rather than outpatients. Options including refurbishing parts of the existing hospital or even a new building on one part of the site.

An outline business case is expected to be presented to boards by May 2012.