BORIS and Caroline have promised Eastbourrne a new hospital!
But is it really as good as it sounds?
Last October a new hospital was announced for Eastbourne, as part of £3.7 billion NHS funding announced by the government.
It is one of 40 new hospitals announced across England and has been described as ‘absolutely the best news for the town’ by the MP.
However, a report out today says spiralling costs at delayed NHS construction projects will reduce available funding for new “hospitals” promised by the government, HSJ has learned.
In a letter to NHS trusts, leaked to HSJ, New Hospitals Programme chief Natalie Forrest said a team has been set up to “review” costs of eight building projects, most of which had funding approved prior to the government’s “40 new hospital” promise in 2019.
These eight projects were incorporated into New Hospitals Programme last year, taking the total number of schemes promised by the government within 2030 to 48.
However, in the letter to trusts, Ms Forrest said “any increase in the cost” of these eight projects will “reduce the funding for the remainder of the NHP schemes” because they will all now be funded from the same pot. The government has so far committed £3.7bn up to 2025, of which £600m is expected to be spent in 2021-22, according to the 2020 Spending Review.
MP Caroline Ansell said at the time, “This is absolutely the best news for our town and it will transform NHS services for our community for generations to come.
“It also shows this government is committed to investing in our health services and we can now look forward to a state-of-the-art hospital for patients and staff coming online in the next few years.
“The NHS is the number one priority for local residents and this is why I have continually pushed for better health services for Eastbourne and Willingdon.
“I am beyond excited this is now about to become a reality. I cannot think of a better day for our town in many a year.”