An MP says he has "not been this angry for a long time" after the Prime Minister has backed plans for major investment at Watford General Hospital.

Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning has blasted West Herts Hospitals Trust for not giving Boris Johnson the "full facts" during his visit to Watford on Monday.

Campaigners want the trust to build a new hospital which is more accessible to St Albans and Hemel Hempstead, as well as Watford.

But hospital bosses said the £350 million investment they were fighting for from the government does not stretch to building a new hospital.

Mr Johnson has since confirmed the trust will receive £400 million to be spent across the three hospitals.

Hillingdon Times:

Boris Johnson speaks to medical staff at Watford General Hospital during a visit on Monday. Credit: PA

But after the Prime Minister told the Observer he was "fully behind" the trusts' plans to refurbish Watford, Sir Mike said: "I am very angry that the trust have not given the PM the full facts of the case. I’ve not been this angry for a long time.

"I don’t blame staff. I don’t blame doctors, or cleaners, or porters. But the people running the hospital are not fit for purpose.

"Nonetheless, we will carry on. We will not give up. And if necessary, we will challenge them in the courts.

"I am more determined than ever to pursue the case for a new hospital on a new site to serve all the people of west Hertfordshire.

"I welcome the money for the area, but we all know that to try to rebuild Watford – whilst keeping it functioning – is clearly going to be more expensive than starting afresh.

"I have spoken to the PM and the Secretary of State for Health since the visit and made my views known."

Hillingdon Times:

Sir Mike Penning

New Hospital Campaigner Edie Glatter added: "It seems the Prime Minister has only listened to one side.

"He has not had the chance to take note of the massive opposition to the Watford scheme across the rest of the trust area

"Why hasn’t he spoken to the other MPs whose constituencies come under the trust? I’m sure Mike Penning would be happy to talk to him, and his views would be entirely different to Watford MP Richard Harrington.

"It is shameful that, once again, pouring money into the decrepit and dysfunctional buildings at Watford is offered as the only solution."

In response to the criticism, deputy chief executive Helen Brown said: "We need to urgently improve our hospital buildings and we are working very closely with NHS regulators to secure funding and agree next steps following the very welcome announcement of major investment for our hospitals.

"We appreciate that people have different opinions but we have to work across the wider area of West Hertfordshire and provide the best possible outcome within the funds available for all our patients.

"We know there is always room for improvement but our trust is definitely on the up. Since 2017 the trust has come out of special measures and dramatically reduced the number of patient complaints.

"We have just been named Best UK Employer by the Nursing Times and have achieved a zero percent nursing vacancy rate for adult nursing roles which is great news for our patients."