Flash flooding is evidence the proposed redevelopment ‘won’t wait’ say MPs and council leaders
MPs and councillors have launched a campaign to put pressure on the Government to bring forward plans to redevelop Whipps Cross Hospital in London.
MPs Sir Iain Duncan Smith, Stella Creasy, John Cryer, and Wes Streeting have joined forced with Councillorr Grace Williams and Councillor Jas Athwal, leaders of Waltham Forest and Redbridge local authorities, in launching the cross-party, cross-borough campaign to get a new hospital for north East London.
Whipps Cross is one of eight ‘pathfinder’ schemes that are part of the Government’s flagship New Hospitals Programme, which is committed to building 40 new hospitals by 2030 – backed by an initial £3.7billion in funding.
Subject to planning and business case approvals, it is anticipated that the completion of the new hospital will be by the end of 2026.
But recent flash floods have highlighted the increasing risks on the current site, and the campaign is calling for a commitment to begin the work.
Following the devastation and damage caused by the flash floods in July, Whipps Cross – already stretched by the COVID-19 – was forced to cancel or reschedule 582 planned surgeries and over 100 outpatient appointments.
Speaking about the Whipps Won’t Wait campaign, Cllr 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.
A supportive workplace
“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.
“Leaders from across both the political divide are here together to say to Government Whipps Won’t Wait.”
Cllr 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.“
And the recent floods demonstrated just how vital current redevelopment plans are, so Redbridge Council stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Waltham Forest in this campaign to reinforce the message Whipps Won’t Wait.”