Funding still needed for Hinchingbrooke Hospital's rebuild

Hinchingbrooke Hospital is hoping to receive rebuild funding from the Government.

Hinchingbrooke Hospital is hoping to receive rebuild funding from the Government. - Credit: LDRS

Hinchingbrooke Hospital is hoping to be included in the next Government announcement for rebuild funding.

Plans to redevelop Hinchingbrooke are progressing, but funding is still needed for the final full rebuild phase.

Caroline Walker, chief executive of the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, said “significant redevelopment” was needed due to issues with the construction methods used to build the roof of the existing buildings.

A report to Cambridgeshire County Council’s Adults and Health Committee explained that NHS England has said no patients should be in buildings with the Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete from 2035.

Ms Walker told committee councillors on March 17 that £280million is estimated to be needed to maintain the life of the current buildings until 2035, and said she did not believe this was a good use of taxpayers money.

Updating councillors on the redevelopment plans for the site, Ms Walker said the hospital is entering the second phase, the redevelopment of the main theatres.

The first phase, a refurbishment of the Emergency Department, has already been completed.The third phase, to redevelop the wider site, does not yet have funding.

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The vision set out for the redevelopment is for a ‘health and care campus’ offering a range of services, such a GP services, mental health, social care, nursing home, alongside the acute health care.

Ms Walker explained that the government had previously announced a list of hospitals that would receive funding to rebuild. She said an announcement of additional hospitals to be added to the list is due to be made this Spring, and the Trust hopes Hinchingbrooke will be included.

There was some good news locally for the hospital, however, as Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC) announced it was supporting the hospital with £271k of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding.

At a meeting of HDC Cabinet members on March 17, it was agreed CIL funding would be granted to support Hinchingbrooke’s plans to build a new operating theatres block. 

This project is the second phase of a three-phase plan for the hospital. The first phase was the expansion of Urgent Care, which was completed in November 2020, and the second and third phases will see further transformation of the hospital’s facilities and infrastructure to make sure Hinchingbrooke continues to meet the needs of local people.