Leighton gets nod for share of govt’s £20bn hospitals pot
The Cheshire campus is one of five across England to be rebuilt by 2030, it was announced yesterday, while other North West bidders must wait longer to see if they will receive a share of the spoils.
A total of £3.7bn was originally set aside to deliver the government’s New Hospitals Programme – 40 new or rebuilt hospitals by the end of the decade.
However, £20bn will now be invested in the initiative up to and beyond 2030, according to the Department of Health.
Leighton Hospital, Airedale in West Yorkshire, Queen Elizabeth King’s Lynn in Norfolk, Hinchingbrooke in Cambridgeshire, and Frimley Park are the latest facilities to be inducted into the scheme.
These hospitals have been selected because they have significant amounts of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete, which has a 30-year lifespan. Leighton Hospital is 50 years old.
Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: “These five hospitals are in pressing need of repair and are being prioritised so patients and staff can benefit from major new hospital buildings, equipped with the latest technology.
“As we approach the 75th anniversary of our fantastic NHS, this extra investment will ensure it can care for patients for decades to come and help cut waiting lists so they get the treatment they need quicker.”
Mid-Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has previously claimed the £663m needed to replace Leighton Hospital would amount to a saving of £100m compared to the cost of refurbishing the existing hospital over the next 15 years.
Following the announcement that Leighton is to be included in the New Hospitals Programme, Ian Moston, the trust’s chief executive, said the facility would be “more than just a building”.
“This new hospital creates a unique opportunity to transform the way we deliver care and enhance the experience of both patients and staff.
“We can now move forward… pushing boundaries in clinical, digital, and environmental innovation that will enable us to tackle inequalities and meet the needs of a growing and ageing population – at pace.”
The trust will now draw up a business case for the development.
Proposed new hospitals in Stockport and Warrington did not get the green light this time around.
While Leighton has been given the green light, other bids across the North West will have to wait to find out if they will be successful.
Stockport wants to build a £500m new hospital on the former Debenhams site in the town centre, relocating the ageing Stepping Hill in Hazel Grove.
In Warrington, the local NHS trust wants to build a £317m new-build facility in the town centre, as well as delivering a £93m revamp of Halton General Hospital in Runcorn.
Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said it was “disappointed” to have missed out.
“The outcome of this latest funding round does not change the fact that our ageing estate needs significant modernisation,” said Simon Constable, chief executive of the trust.
“We are committed to continuing to work alongside key stakeholders and partners to identify further opportunities to develop our aspirations so that we can meet the evolving needs of residents, tackle health inequalities, and support the regeneration of our towns and communities.”
Money has already been given out for 32 new-build projects, including North Manchester General Hospital and Royal Preston and Lancaster Royal Infirmary.