A new and improved Whipps Cross Hospital is a step closer as work starts on detailed plans for a multi-million pound redevelopment of the 100 year-old site.
This could bring hospital, community, primary and social care together in one place, making Whipps Cross a flagship campus offering the best for tomorrow’s patients.
Preliminary assessments suggest a brand new state-of-the-art hospital – complete with an A&E and maternity department - could be built on a fraction of the existing estate. This would release land for other uses, including integrated health and care facilities and at least 1,000 new homes for the community.
A balance between all the potential aspects of a redevelopment has yet to be determined, so the Trust is working with local people and partners on a detailed masterplan for the 18-hectare estate that can unlock its full value.
Alwen Williams, Chief Executive, said: “We’re hugely excited by the opportunity we have here. The prize is a campus providing a gold standard of care for local people alongside a wide range of facilities to keep them well.
“We have enough space to do this, and using it wisely could create enough new homes for NHS staff to make the hospital a really attractive place to come and work. We are now looking for local people to help us shape our plans.”
Barts Health has invested in new operating theatres, a new high dependency unit and ward refurbishments at Whipps Cross. Yet much of the hospital pre-dates the NHS itself, so redevelopment is a regional priority.
Last year we joined forces with commissioners and the local council to submit a strategic outline case to NHS Improvement, with initial estimates for a full development worth around £520m (excluding VAT and inflation).
We are working with the regulator to strengthen this case, exploring ways to ensure any capital borrowing requirement is affordable for the taxpayer. This includes how a new hospital could be more efficient, and what area it needs (and therefore how the rest of the site might be used). With the support of the East London Health and Care Partnership, a bid was submitted for capital investment of about £350m.
Meanwhile NHSI agreed we should continue to work up more detailed proposals for the redevelopment, and explore other potential funding avenues that might form part of an outline business case.
Barts Health is setting up a community involvement group to help shape options for services and facilities around local needs and wishes. We are also assessing the opportunities and constraints of the redevelopment to give all partners and local people a thorough understanding of what this project could achieve.