New hospital for Basingstoke or just spin – you decide
It was announced during the Conservative party Conference on Sunday that there would be 40 new hospitals. Only hours later, newspapers and the BBC were correcting their headlines to read 6 new hospitals.
The Government said it would build 6 new hospitals as part of their pre-election spending pledge, allocating £2.8 billion to meet this.
On Monday the Basingstoke Gazette published a story with Maria Miller announcing that a new Hospital would be built in Basingstoke. You can read the story here
There is no new hospital planned for Basingstoke and this is just irresponsible Tory spin. I am concerned that the Gazette’s announcement has given the people of Basingstoke false expectations that there will be a new hospital. The Gazette allowed me to respond. You can read my response here.
The truth is there are only plans for six hospitals. Basingstoke is not included in the list of the places for these new hospitals.
Basingstoke and North Hampshire is one of the 21 hospitals identified for possible “seed” funding to develop their business cases for plans that will take place almost a decade from now – in 2030. That’s over ten years from now.
It is irresponsible of Maria Miller and the Basingstoke Conservatives to give Basingstoke residents and NHS staff false hopes and promises that lack certainty. This brings back memories of 2017, when the £336 million critical care hospital that was planned to be built at North Waltham was found to be unaffordable by the CCGs and after 5 years of planning was scrapped.
Labour agrees that the Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital is in urgent need of investment and that this covers a range of areas from staff shortages, repairs to the buildings, waiting times. That the hospital is too small for the growing town. It is tragic that it has been rated as requiring improvement in a recent CQC inspection as the dedicated staff and town don’t deserve this. We cannot wait until 2030 to resolve these issues which are not just about the fabric of the building. Labour established the NHS 70 years ago and are fully committed to reinvesting in the NHS – our hospitals, our GP surgeries, NHS staff and patients as part of a joined up policy plan.
Check the facts for yourself
Kerena is Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Basingstoke. " I want to save the NHS from Trump trade deals and privatisation" Kerena Merchant