Hinchingbrooke Hospital needs 'urgent' rebuild by 2030, warns MP
- Credit: Archant/ NWAFT
Hinchingbrooke Hospital is in “critical need” of being rebuilt by 2030 due to serious structural issues, an MP has told the Government.
Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly says the site, which is run by North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, is in “urgent need of investment”.
It comes as the reinforced concrete (RAAC) used to build it in 1984 is now past its 30-year lifespan – meaning panels used in the construction of the hospital roof and walls could be “seriously affected by structural issues”.
Eighty percent of the hospital has the concrete panels covering buildings that deliver clinical services.
In a letter addressed to the newly appointed Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, Mr Djanogly writes: “There should be no patient accommodation in buildings with these specific RAAC panels at the latest by 2035.
“In addition, there are wider issues affecting the entire site in relation to water, medical gases, electricity and other parts of the support infrastructure which are not able to support the hospital.
“I am appealing for the trust’s bid for funding to rebuild the hospital to be looked upon favourably as part of further funding decisions in the imminent future.
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“The board of directors at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust is absolutely committed to finding a longer-term solution to ensure the safety of its patients and staff as time is of the essence to find a solution to meet this deadline. Currently, there is no such funding commitment available.”
Mr Djanogly first wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson in October last year about the “urgent need” to replace the current Hinchingbrooke site.
At the same time, neighbouring “best buy” hospitals that were built at a similar time to Hinchingbrooke, with the same RAAC structural issues, were named in the government’s list of 40 new hospitals. Hinchingbrooke Hospital was not on the list.
The trust board submitted a bid to rebuild the hospital earlier this month and invested £2.6m of its own resources for the redevelopment.
Mr Djanogly added: “This will transform the hospital into an integrated care hub with ambitions for more system-wide mental health capacity, care home facilities, social services and primary care enhancement on site, while being an ‘anchoring institution’ for the system and will contribute to the levelling up agenda.”
Dr Arshiya Khan, chief strategy and transformation officer at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Hinchingbrooke Hospital, said: “We are incredibly grateful for the support of Mr Djanogly as we seek to be part of the New Hospital Programme Funding.
“The trust has recently submitted its expression of interest to the future new hospitals programme.
"This will see eight successful hospitals receiving funding under the Health Infrastructure Plan (HIP2) to build and replace new sites.
"We expect to hear whether we have been selected for the next stage of the process later in the Autumn.
“Meanwhile, we are continuing with the development of our new operating theatres block, while NHS England and NHS Improvement considers our full business case.”