Kettering General Hospital: Redevelopment

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:53 pm on 22 March 2024.

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Photo of Maria Caulfield Maria Caulfield The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women) 2:53, 22 March 2024

Absolutely. I take hon. and right hon. Members’ feedback about their frustration at how clearing the red tape in this process sometimes takes longer than the construction. My hon. Friend is right: this will be a novel way forward and could open the door for other trusts that are proactive in securing approval for their business cases in a more timely manner.

In addition to the energy centre, the Government are releasing funds to support the trust overall for the new hospital that we wish to build at Kettering, both for the development of the business case more widely and for some early critical works to prepare the site for main construction. By the end of this financial year—which is early next week—the scheme will have received over £5 million in development funding. That includes the release of over £1.9 million in fees to support with the design, planning permission and a business case for a new multi-storey car park. Further funding has also been released to support the development of business cases for the reprovision of accommodation, which will be needed during construction, the data centre and construction area and access roads, which will also be required.

I hope I have reassured my hon. Friend that we are doing extra work, in addition to the energy centre. We expect to receive the full business case and submissions over the course of this year. Again, we urge the trust to be as swift as it can with that, so that we can make some assessments and decisions as quickly as possible. Of course we will keep my hon. Friend updated as the scheme progresses and as further funding is released to the project, because we want to stay on track to complete the main construction of the new hospital by 2030.

In the short time I have, I want to update the House on the wider hospitals programme, because I know that hon. Members are often interested in the progress we are making. I am pleased to say that four of our new hospitals are now open to patients: the Northern Centre for Cancer Care in Newcastle, the Royal Liverpool Hospital, the Louisa Martindale, also known as the 3Ts hospital, in Brighton, and the Northgate and Ferndene Hospitals in Northumberland. A further four hospitals are expected to be open by the end of the next financial year: Salford Royal major trauma centre, the Dyson cancer centre in Bath, the national rehabilitation centre in Loughborough, and the Midland Metropolitan University Hospital. A further 18 hospitals are in construction or well under way towards completion. We also have other capital programmes, including over 100 rapid diagnostic centres that are open, 100 new surgical hubs that are either open or in construction, and 160 mental health crisis centres—all capital projects that will transform healthcare up and down England.

In conclusion, I again thank my hon. Friend the Member for Kettering. He has raised this issue, quite rightly, to hold our feet to the fire. He is fighting tooth and nail for his constituents to get the new hospital up and running by 2030. The energy centre will be the first major part of that construction. If the trust can get us the business case by June, the Hospitals Minister has committed to try to turn that round within a couple of weeks. That will be the start of the wider programme for the new hospital at Kettering. We will absolutely keep my hon. Friend updated, and the new hospital programme team will continue to do all it can to meet the challenges of delivering such a large infrastructure project, to ensure that staff and patients have world-class facilities in Kettering.

Question put and agreed to.

House adjourned.