Today in parliament Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, committed to working with me to review the bid for a new health centre on the St George’s Hospital site, Hornchurch, after the project was rejected for capital funding by the NHS earlier this week.
I shared the enormous frustration and disappointment of the St George’s Hospital Redevelopment Delivery Board upon hearing the news that their bid had not been successful, and immediately raised the matter at Health questions in the Chamber of the House of Commons.
The Board still hope to bring health services back to the St George’s Hospital site, which has stood empty since 2012 and was sold by NHS Property to developer, Bellway, back in March. They are now seeking feedback on both the process and some specific elements of their bid to understand how this outcome was reached. In the meantime they continue to explore all available options to fund the centre and ensure it can be delivered and be sustainable for the local NHS going forward.
Last week, the Health Secretary launched our NHS Long Term Plan, a 10-year plan to enable people to live longer, healthier lives and get the most out of the extra £20.5 billion being injected into the NHS. The plan focuses on prevention and treating people out of hospital, and the St George’s Board planned to develop a health and wellbeing centre that offers outpatient clinics, GP services and a joint team of health and social care professionals, as well as space for local voluntary and community groups to use.
NHS Property realised £43 million when it sold St George’s, and I asked the Health Secretary to review the bid for a new health centre to convince communities that they benefit when local NHS assets are sold. He replied that he looks forward to working with me and local commissioners before the spending review, when the next round of the capital allocations will be set.
Health Questions, House of Commons Chamber, 15 January 2019
Julia Lopez Conservative, Hornchurch and Upminster
NHS Property realised £43 million when it sold St George’s Hospital in my constituency, yet a £17 million bid for a new health centre there has not been successful. Will my right hon. Friend commit himself to looking at that again in order to convince communities that they benefit when local NHS assets are sold?
Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
Absolutely. I look forward to working on that with my hon. Friend and local commissioners, and also to working with my hon. Friend before the spending review, when the next round of the capital allocations will be set.