I'm extremely pleased the Government has reconfirmed its commitment to building a new Whipps Cross Hospital, part of the £20 billion funding for the New Hospital Programme. This funding will deliver a brand-new hospital that’s fit for the future for my constituents across Chingford and Woodford Green, and following a short delay, work for a new multi-storey car park is expected to begin in Autumn. The first part of the enabling works programme, funded by the Government, is the demolition of the disused buildings on the site of the former nurses’ accommodation. The new multi-storey car park is the second stage of the enabling works programme which needs to be completed before construction begins on the hospital itself. Following a short delay, the works are expected to begin in Autumn.
For more than 30 years I have worked hard to get a new hospital and campaigned to ensure Whipps Cross stayed open when the previous Labour Government threatened to close it.
Working closely with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Steve Barclay, and the local Barts Health NHS Trust team, we are on the verge of delivering my plan for better healthcare across Chingford & Woodford Green.
The local NHS’s preferred way forward is to build a new district general hospital at Whipps Cross, in a single-phase build. This will provide a range of patient services including emergency and maternity, on a cleared site that was formerly the nurses’ accommodation.
I understand my constituents concerns about the Margaret Centre and I have been clear with the redevelopment team that the new hospital must provide the same end-of-life palliative care service that is currently provided by the Margaret Centre.
I understand how important it is to save the valuable Margaret Centre so that the service continues to deliver high quality care and improve the quality of life of patients. I have listened to my constituents’ concerns and made it very clear with the redevelopment team that the new hospital must provide the same end-of-life palliative care service that is currently provided by the Margaret Centre. Over the course of many meetings, it became clear that patients and families wished the Margaret Centre to be retained in the new hospital. I raised this with the Trust and Barts Health, who have agreed to work with St Joseph’s Hospice, the Northeast London Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and others to co-design an end-of-life palliative care service for Waltham Forest, similar to that currently provided by the Margaret Centre. I will continue to work closely with the Secretary of State to ensure our beloved Margaret Centre remains on the Whipps Cross Site rather than be-provided elsewhere in Waltham Forest.
Many of you raised concerns about the new hospital providing fewer beds. It is right that the Trust had originally planned to reduce the number of beds. However following many discussions, the Trust is now confident that they can provide at least as many beds in the new hospital as at present. This is a huge success for both staff and patients. I am pleased we have secured these commitments for the residents of Chingford and Woodford Green and I hope the new hospital will be a vibrant health, care and wellbeing campus at the heart of our community.