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Councillors supporting Whipps motion

Council motion for Whipps Cross hospital funding

Published: 21 October 2022
Filed under: Health and wellbeing

At Full Council on 20 October 2022, Leader of Waltham Forest Council, Cllr Grace Williams, proposed the urgent need for the funding promised to Whipps Cross Hospital.

The motion was seconded by Conservative Group Leader, Cllr Emma Best, and Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Naheed Asghar, along with Councillors across all parties, and supported by Rt Hon Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP.

See full motion below.

The Council welcomes the recent announcement from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care that £28m funding has been approved to build the new 500-space multi-storey car park and carry out necessary works on local road junctions as part of building a new hospital at Whipps Cross.

The Council notes that:

  • This represents the start of a new phase of the hospital’s redevelopment. It will allow the carrying out of crucial enabling works that are required before the building of the new hospital begins.
  • This is a clear and well-received indication that the Government shares our vision to build a new hospital, putting it at the heart of our plans to transform healthcare provision in Waltham Forest in line with the new principles of integrated care.
  • Whilst this is encouraging, we now call on the Government to follow up with a full announcement and timeline for delivery of the funds required to carry out the desperately needed redevelopment of Whipps Cross Hospital.
  • Whipps Cross is one of eight ‘pathfinder’ schemes that are part of the Government’s flagship New Hospitals Programme which is committed to building 40 new hospitals by 2030.
  • The Council, in partnership with Barts Health NHS Trust, has carried out extensive work to ensure it can hit the ground running once a timetable for fully funding the hospital is confirmed. This includes having outline planning permission approved and the necessary demolition works carried out in preparation for construction.
  • There has been strong cross-party and cross-borough support for the redevelopment of the hospital, highlighted by the #WhippsWontWait campaign that saw over 11,000 residents sign a petition urging the Government to honour its funding commitment to deliver a state-of-the-art hospital at the current Whipps site.
  • The need for a new hospital is urgent. The ageing building and infrastructure presents real challenges and is not designed for modern forms of care. This was emphasised in July 2021 when the hospital was flooded and a major incident called, leading to significant disruption.
  • Plans for the new hospital will bring several clinical benefits to our residents. There will be over a third more clinical space, allowing for an estimated 10,000 more day case patients and 25,000 more outpatient appointments annually. Overall, it will see core NHS services brought closer together for vastly improved patient care.
  • As well as a flexible 21st century facility, with ambitions to achieve Net Zero, the redevelopment will allow us to build up to 1,500 new homes, half of which will be affordable, opening up home-owning opportunities for our residents.
  • The National Audit Office has acknowledged concerns relating the New Hospitals Programme over the project’s budget and delays. It has announced a ‘value for money review’ of the New Hospitals Programme due in 2023.

This Council resolves to:

  • Thank members from London Borough of Waltham Forest, London Borough of Redbridge, and Essex County Council for their work on the Joint Overview and Health Scrutiny Committee to scrutinise plans for health services at the new hospital.
  • Continue to call on the Government to deliver on its funding commitment so we can deliver a new, state-of-the-art hospital.
  • Engage with the newly appointed Secretary of State of Health to ensure they are fully briefed on our plans and constructive engagement with government so far.
  • Continue to engage with all stakeholders to ensure we are in as strong position as possible to receive the greenlight for funding and ready to begin construction.