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Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust

Health and Social Care – in the House of Commons on 29th October 2019.

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Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

In addition to business-as-usual capital budgets, I am delighted that, as the right hon. Gentleman will be aware, his hospital trust will benefit from a significant part of the £2.7 billion capital funding under the health infrastructure plan—HIP 1—our deeply ambitious hospital building programme.

Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Duchy of Lancaster)

I thank the Minister for that. I obviously welcome the announcement—I, local residents, councillors and indeed Siobhain McDonagh have been campaigning on this for many years—but does he remember that in 2015 there was £219 million available for St Helier Hospital, which was then deleted from the Budget by the incoming Conservative Government? Can he reassure me that this commitment to St Helier will last beyond 9, 10, 11 or 12 December, or the date of the next general election?

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The Government’s commitment is clear. While no Government can bind a future Government, our commitment is very clear, so my advice to the right hon. Gentleman’s constituents is to vote Conservative.

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Chair, International Development Sub-Committee on the Work of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact

I would like to correct the record, in that my predecessor, Paul Burstow, mentioned before the 2015 election that he regretted the withdrawal of that money.

Does the Minister agree that, in giving us the money that we need for the Epsom and St Helier Trust, it is right to reward a plan that finally will save St Helier without using it as a political football and will improve health outcomes in a brand-new building that we can be proud to have in Sutton?

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

My hon. Friend is a doughty champion for his constituents and his trust, and he is absolutely right.

Photo of Siobhain McDonagh Siobhain McDonagh Labour, Mitcham and Morden

This plan could see two A&Es reduced to one and two maternity units reduced to one. Have the Government taken into account the need for extra capital funding for both St George’s and Croydon university trust should St Helier place this new hospital on the Sutton Hospital site?

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The hon. Lady will know that the plans that will be brought forward will be clinically led and delivered and constructed by the trust itself, so I would encourage her to engage with the trust and with neighbouring trusts, but surely she would welcome this significant investment by the Government in her health infrastructure.