My right hon. Friend receives regular updates on major NHS projects, including the Paddington basin development. Officials are currently reviewing the outline business case submitted by the Paddington health campus team in December.
The Minister knows of my interest in this project. At the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust board meeting on
No, I have not received it yet, but I hope to receive it from the trust shortly. I think that the issue to which the hon. Gentleman refers relates to a recent proposal from Westminster city council—a Conservative-controlled authority—to facilitate the development of Paddington by releasing some land that would provide a significantly improved value-for-money solution to the development. I hope that there is a way forward that will provide us with such a solution, and I look forward to receiving that communication from the trust as soon as possible.
Will the Minister bear it in mind that, when this project was put out to consultation, the public were informed that the net cost would be £135 million? Last autumn, the Secretary of State admitted that the estimated cost had risen to £800 million. It is now £1.1 billion. At that rate, is not this the fastest escalating estimated cost in the history of the NHS? When will the Treasury take an interest in the project and get things under control?
I can assure the hon. Gentleman that the Treasury has taken a close interest in this project right from the beginning, and rightly so. We should not lose sight of the important point that, if there is a value-for-money solution for the Paddington health campus, and if we can find that way forward, the campus will provide a significantly better service not only for the hon. Gentleman's constituents who might need to use its specialist services but for millions of patients across the south of England. I would have thought that he would lend his support to that improvement. His real problem today, however, is not my view on this matter, but that of Mr. Lansley, who, in May last year—