Whipps Won't Wait: MPs launch hospital redevelopment campaign
- Credit: Waltham Forest Council
Political leaders from across Waltham Forest and Redbridge have called on the government to fund the next stage of redevelopment at Whipps Cross Hospital.
Yesterday, MPs Sir Iain Duncan Smith, Stella Creasy, John Cryer and Wes Streeting joined Cllr Grace Williams and Cllr Jas Athwal, leaders of Waltham Forest and Redbridge councils, to launch a campaign to secure funding for the new hospital.
The redevelopment of Whipps Cross – which is based in Leytonstone, but serves a large number of residents in the west of Redbridge – is one of six projects promised a share of £2.7billion by the government as part of its commitment to build 40 new hospitals by 2030.
The Whipps Won’t Wait campaign is aiming to get 10,000 signatures on a petition to put pressure on the government, which is in the process of deciding which hospitals receive the money first.
If proposals proceed as planned, the new hospital could be completed by the end of 2026, increasing yearly capacity to 226,000 emergency patients and 25,000 additional outpatient appointments.
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Mr Streeting, Labour MP for Ilford North, said the Whipps Cross redevelopment was “absolutely crucial” for residents in west Redbridge.
He said: “The fabric of the building is not up to an acceptable standard in the 21st century. The government have committed to its redevelopment and our message is simple and cross-party – Whipps Cross won’t wait”.
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He accused prime minister Boris Johnson of “over-promising and under-delivering” and said it was important to maintain pressure on the government to secure funding.
Mr Duncan Smith, MP for Chingford and Woodford Green and former Conservative Party leader, said he had been working to get a new hospital for the area since he was first elected in 1992.
He told the Recorder he would be talking to the health secretary in the coming weeks to find out more about the funding situation.
“I am hoping they will stick to the original pledge and that we will be in the first tranche,” he added.
Cllr Athwal said the impact of flooding at Whipps Cross earlier this year had demonstrated how “vital” the redevelopment was.
In July, the hospital was forced to cancel or reschedule 582 planned surgeries and over 100 outpatient appointments after flash floods led to power outages.