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Funding for new Whipps Cross hospital secured

Published: 25 May 2023

After years of uncertainty the Government has announced that it will now proceed towards construction and fund a new hospital at Whipps Cross to serve more than 400,000 people across Waltham Forest, Redbridge, and parts of Essex.

It follows decades of campaigning by councillors in Waltham Forest and Redbridge alongside residents who rely on Whipps. Campaigners are calling for improvements to the crumbling Victorian era infrastructure to create a hospital that meets the needs of the community in the 21st century.

The Leader of Redbridge Council, Cllr Jas Athwal said:

“Thousands of local people across the west of Redbridge rely on Whipps Cross for their healthcare needs.

For too long we have been waiting for the government investment Whipps Cross Hospital desperately needs and today I am glad to say that wait has ended with the announcement that plans to redevelop the hospital will begin this autumn.

I want to thank everyone from across Redbridge and Waltham who joined the Whipps Won’t Wait campaign, fought for our local hospital and won – this success is down to all of you.”

The Leader of Waltham Forest Council, Cllr Grace Williams said:

“For decades Waltham Forest Council has been campaigning alongside residents and hospital staff for improvements to Whipps Cross. The importance of this issue for local people was demonstrated by the 11,000 people who signed our Whipps Won’t Wait Campaign petition. Thank you to everyone who got involved – your support has been vital in showing the Government the strength of local feeling on this issue.

“I also can’t express my gratitude enough to the wonderful nurses, doctors, and NHS support staff who have worked so hard for so long in dilapidated buildings.”

The Whipps Won’t Wait Campaign seized on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform the hospital and the wider site to serve borough residents for generations to come, improving health outcomes and reducing inequalities whilst providing much-needed new homes.

Now that the funding has been secured, Whipps Cross will become a state-of-the-art ‘smart’ hospital that will vastly improve the experience for patients and staff alike.

There will be more clinical space than there currently is, alongside 14 new operating theatres located next to recovery rooms and a day unit to better care for patients. with a doubling of CT and MRI scanners. The new hospital will be able to provide 31,000 more MRI and CT scans per year to enable faster diagnoses. 70 per cent of rooms will be for single occupancy in the new hospital compared to just 17 per cent currently.

The improved, greener site will encourage more cycling, walking and public transport usage with the ambition to deliver net zero carbon emissions.

The urgency of the improvement work was demonstrated in July 2021 when serious flooding closed the A&E and prevented hundreds of essential operations. Some of the hospital’s most vulnerable patients had to be evacuated from the hospital in pitch dark.

Cllr Williams added: “The Government has announced that the hospital will proceed. We will at last have a hospital that is fit for purpose for the 21st century and of which staff can rightly be proud.

“I know the affection local people have for Whipps Cross. Many residents will have been born, had babies of their own, and had relatives cared for at the hospital. We now have the opportunity build on the emotional attachment the community has for Whipps and create a legacy for future generations.

“We will hold the Government to account to make sure this happens without further delay and the money they’ve promised is used well to meet the needs of residents.”

Find out more on the Future Whipps website