As the new chief executive of Whipps Cross and as a local resident, I’m passionate about the need to deliver a new hospital for people across our diverse local communities.
I am unashamedly ambitious for Whipps Cross because this is my local hospital. It is where I bring my kids when they are sick, and it’s where I get treated myself.
Having worked as a doctor in hospitals in Scotland and in England, I know that nothing is more important than thinking about how we can improve the care we provide for our patients – both in the current hospital and through the redevelopment of Whipps Cross.
Over the past 18 months we have made good progress on the aspects of the redevelopment that have been within our control. We have cleared the site of the former nurses’ accommodation and secured planning permission for the new hospital and multi-storey car park.
It is disappointing for all of us – for the hospital team and for local residents – that we have not been able to make all of the progress we would have liked to over the past few months. However, over the last two months we have received more positive news from the government, and national colleagues are now working with us at increasing speed to turn the recent announcement into concrete actions.
At the end of May we received the very welcome announcement by the secretary of state for health and social care that the government remained committed to building 40 new hospitals by 2030, including a new Whipps Cross. Really importantly, he also made clear that the redevelopment would be fully funded and constructed.
That timeline is consistent with our own assumptions which anticipate construction of the new hospital beginning no earlier than 2025, and therefore completing in winter 2028/29.
Over the coming weeks we will be working closely with national colleagues from the New Hospital Programme to establish the way forward to deliver on these commitments, including the timeline for approval of our business case for the new hospital.
At the same time, we are also working with national colleagues to agree a pathway to approval of the business case for the first of two multi-storey car parks. Work needs to be completed on this project to make space for construction on the new hospital itself to begin.
Over the coming months we will continue to update you through this newsletter but in the meantime do also keep a look out for updates on social media, the Future Whipps website, and in internal staff communications.