Whipps Cross given £350million for new hospital
- Credit: Archant
The government has announced it will invest £350million in a new hospital at Whipps Cross.
The Barts Health NHS Trust site is one of six hospitals to benefit from £2.7billion of funding over the next five years, as part of the government's new health infrastructure programme.
Earlier this month both the prime minister and health secretary visited the hospital, in Leytonstone, to see first-hand the scale of the project.
Parts of the hospital site are more than 100 hundred years old and the modernisation of the hospital has been the subject of local campaigning for many years.
Iain Duncan Smith, MP for Chingford and Woodford Green, said the annoucement was an "absolutely wonderful moment".
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"It is a triumph for those who have persevered in their support for this significant part of the community," he said.
"The announcement is the culmination of my work with constituents and the Whipps Cross team over the past 27 years and is a fantastic vote of confidence in Whipps Cross, which will massively benefit the constituents - whether staff or patients - who need a new hospital.
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"My gratitude goes to the senior management, doctors, nurses and all the staff, for whom this achievement is a real vote of thanks and will in due course help them in their work."
Alwen Williams, group chief executive of Barts Health NHS Trust, said she is delighted that Whipps Cross is one of the six chosen hospitals that will get a state of the art building.
"This announcement will secure the long-term future of the hospital and enable the patient and staff environment to be greatly improved," she said.
"This is a significant investment in healthcare in east London, and I would like to thank our staff, patients and partners for working with us to secure this funding.
"We look forward to working closely with our local communities to realise our exciting vision for Whipps Cross Hospital, to improve the safety, care and experience of patients for years to come."
Matt Hancock MP, secretary of state for health and social care, added: "This is the largest sum that has ever been invested in the NHS.
"I love the NHS and I'm incredibly excited to be able to launch the largest hospital building plan in a generation, with 40 new hospitals across the country.
"Too many of our hospitals are too old, and this plan will build new state of the art hospitals, using the best technology, so our brilliant NHS staff have the best possible facilities to provide the best possible care."
However, not everyone is on board with the plans and shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said Boris Johnson couldn't be trusted with the NHS.
"All his past promises on new cash have been exposed as a con and after years of Tory cuts, hospitals are crumbling, facing a £6billion repair bill," he said.
"What's more our NHS is short of 100,000 staff.
"Only Labour has a costed plan to recruit the extra doctors and nurses our health service needs.
"Ministers must now explain if today's announcement is for completely new projects or ones already planned, what that means for the rest of the NHS capital budget and outline whether existing hospitals or services will close as part of re-configurations and over what timescale.
"Given Boris Johnson's spin of previous health claims, patients and NHS staff will expect total honesty and clarity today."
For more information, visit https://bartshealth.nhs.uk/future-whipps.