MPs have launched a cross-party, cross-borough campaign to pressure the Government to press ahead with plans for a new hospital in north east London.
Sir Iain Duncan Smith, Stella Creasy, John Cryer, and Wes Streeting joined Councillor Grace Williams and Councillor Jas Athwal, leaders of Waltham Forest and Redbridge councils, to launch the campaign this week, which follows a flood in the summer, which caused severe damage to the existing buildings.
Whipps Cross is one of eight ‘pathfinder’ schemes that are part of the Government’s flagship New Hospitals Programme, which has committed to building 40 new hospitals by 2030 – backed by an initial £3.7billion.
Subject to planning and business case approvals, it is anticipated that the completion of the new hospital will be by the end of 2026.
The proposed redevelopment will increase yearly capacity to 226,000 emergency patients at the new site, as well as providing 25,000 additional outpatient appointments.
Following the devastation and damage caused by flash floods in July, Whipps Cross – already stretched by the COVID-19 pandemic – was forced to cancel or reschedule 582 planned surgeries and over 100 outpatient appointments.
Our NHS staff have worked heroically throughout the pandemic and to have the hospital A&E close and vital operations cancelled due to flooding is yet another kick in the teeth to patients and staff alike
Speaking about the Whipps Won’t Wait campaign, Waltham Forest Council Leader, Councillor Williams said: “Our NHS staff have worked heroically throughout the pandemic and to have the hospital A&E close and vital operations cancelled due to flooding is yet another kick in the teeth to patients and staff alike.
“We know that due to climate change flooding is more likely in the future and, without a completely-new hospital, it is only a matter of time before flooding disrupts the hospital again.
“And leaders from across both the political divide are here together to say to Government Whipps Won’t Wait.”
Leader of Redbridge Council, Councillor Athwal, added: “Over the past 18 months, we have all been reminded of just how invaluable our NHS is and of the amazing service all NHS staff – from doctors and nurses, to receptionists and porters – provide. As well as our thanks, they deserve a workplace that enables them to do their jobs without worrying about their work environment.
“The recent floods demonstrated just how vital current redevelopment plans are. Many Redbridge residents rely on Whipps Cross, so Redbridge Council stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Waltham Forest in this campaign to reinforce the message that Whipps Won’t Wait