Secretary of State for Health and Social Care the Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP has seen first-hand the need to improve the estate at Whipps Cross Hospital at a visit this week.
Hospital staff gave the Secretary of State a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how they’ve improved care at the hospital in recent years, despite working in many buildings that pre-date the NHS itself.
Mr Hancock told staff that the need to improve the estate is “evident to anybody walking around it”, as he accompanied Iain Duncan Smith, MP for Chingford and Woodford Green, on a tour.
The local NHS and Waltham Forest Council have an exciting vision to turn the site into an innovative health and care campus with a modern hospital at its heart.
Preliminary assessments suggest a brand new state-of-the-art hospital – complete with an A&E and maternity department and co-located with other health and care facilities - could be built on a fraction of the existing estate. This would release land for other uses, potentially including new homes for the community and staff.
With funding for the redevelopment not yet approved, the Trust must now work up detailed plans in a business case for Government.
The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care said: "It was great to visit Whipps Cross Hospital with Iain Duncan Smith to hear the proposals for a new hospital for the people of North East London.
“They highlighted some of the challenges they face, but the trust has already made strong progress - coming out of special measures just a few weeks ago – and I’ve been struck by the dedication and commitment of staff to make a difference to the patients in their care."
Alwen Williams, Chief Executive of Barts Health NHS Trust said: “We have a golden opportunity to turn our ageing buildings and underused land into a modern hospital at the heart of a flagship health and care campus. It’s brilliant news that we have been given the go-ahead to move to the next stage and will now work with our staff and local people to develop detailed plans.”
Clare Coghill, Leader of Waltham Forest Council said: “The need for a new hospital is obvious to anyone that visits the site, which is why it is so important that Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, came along for a tour of the site.
“The plans for the Whipps Cross estate are a once in a lifetime opportunity to not only create a new health and social care hub that meet all the needs of our residents whilst also revitalising this area of Waltham Forest.”
Last month Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs Whipps Cross Hospital, lifted itself out of special measures for quality following a series of inspections. Inspectors found improvements across the services at Whipps Cross, which now has over half of its individual ratings scored as ‘good’.
To find out more about the redevelopment plans and to get involved visit bartshealth.nhs.uk/future-whipps