You did it! Funding for new Whipps Cross hospital secured
You did it! After years of uncertainty the Government announced on 25 May 2023 that it will confirm construction and funding for a new hospital at Whipps Cross, which will serve more than 400,000 people across Waltham Forest, Redbridge, and parts of Essex.
This great news follows decades of campaigning by the people of Waltham Forest and beyond, including the Council's petition, 'Whipps Won't Wait', which was signed by 11,000 residents. Campaigners have called for improvements to the crumbling Victorian-era infrastructure to create a hospital that meets the needs of the community in the 21st century.
The Whipps Won't Wait Campaign seized on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform the hospital and the wider site to serve borough residents for generations to come, improving residents' health and reducing inequality in the borough, while providing much-needed new homes.
The urgency of the improvement work was demonstrated in July 2021 when serious flooding closed the A&E and prevented hundreds of essential operations. Some of the hospital’s most vulnerable patients had to be evacuated from the hospital in pitch dark.
The Leader of Waltham Forest Council, Cllr Grace Williams, thanked everyone who has supported the campaign.
For decades Waltham Forest Council has been campaigning alongside residents and hospital staff for improvements to Whipps Cross. The importance of this issue for local people was demonstrated by the 11,000 people who signed our Whipps Won’t Wait Campaign petition. Thank you to everyone who got involved – your support has been vital in showing the Government the strength of local feeling on this issue.
I also can’t express my gratitude enough to the wonderful nurses, doctors, and NHS support staff who have worked so hard for so long in dilapidated buildings.
The Government has announced that the hospital will proceed. We will at last have a hospital that is fit for purpose for the 21st century and of which staff can rightly be proud.
I know the affection local people have for Whipps Cross. Many residents will have been born, had babies of their own, and had relatives cared for at the hospital. We now have the opportunity build on the emotional attachment the community has for Whipps and create a legacy for future generations.
We will hold the Government to account to make sure this happens without further delay and the money they’ve promised is used well to meet the needs of residents.
Now that the funding has been secured, Whipps Cross will become a state-of-the-art ‘smart’ hospital that will vastly improve the experience for patients and staff alike.
There will be more clinical space than there currently is, alongside 14 new operating theatres located next to recovery rooms and a day unit to better care for patients. with a doubling of CT and MRI scanners. The new hospital will be able to provide 31,000 more MRI and CT scans per year to enable faster diagnoses. 70 per cent of rooms will be for single occupancy in the new hospital compared to just 17 per cent currently.
The improved, greener site will encourage more cycling, walking and public transport usage with the ambition to deliver net zero carbon emissions.
An additional benefit of the funding announcement is that the wider Whipps Cross site will be transformed once the new hospital opens to provide up to 1,500 new homes - 50 per cent of which will be affordable – alongside a community health building, new green and public spaces, and retail and leisure facilities for the whole community.