Over the past 18 months we have made good progress towards the delivery of a new hospital for staff and the people of north east London. We have cleared the site of the former nurses’ accommodation and secured planning permission for the new hospital and multi-storey car park.
As you may remember, last August Secretary of State Steve Barclay MP publicly backed our plans to build the new multi-storey car park and to make other changes to the site, including improvements to the junctions at James Lane and Whipps Cross Road. We had hoped that the show of support would allow us to start building the new multi-storey car park before the end of 2022, work that we need to carry out before we can start construction of the new hospital itself.
We are regrettably still waiting for a final decision to release the funding needed for the car park. That delay means that the potential start for construction has been delayed until later this year, completing in 2024.
At the same time as seeking a final decision on funding for the new car park we are continuing to work with the government’s New Hospital Programme to agree the next steps in submitting our Outline Business Case for the new hospital. We had expected more information on this by the end of 2022 but, again, we have not received an update. This means that our current estimate is for work on the new hospital itself to begin in 2025 at the earliest, with completion towards the end of 2028.
Like staff and local residents, I am disappointed by these delays. However, every week we continue to make the case to national colleagues that we are ready to go. We have cleared the site and we have secured planning permission. Now we need the funding so that we can get on with our shared local vision of delivering the brand new Whipps Cross that staff and the people of north east London deserve.
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.