HARLOW MP Robert Halfon rose on the floor of the House of Commons as he continues to campaign for a new hospital for Harlow.
Mr Halfon said: “It is a huge pleasure to see you, Madam Deputy Speaker, in the Chair this evening, not just because you are my constituency neighbour as the Member for Epping Forest, but because you have worked so hard alongside me to get a vital new hospital health campus in Harlow at the Princess Alexandra Hospital. I am hugely grateful to you for being here today. I am grateful to the Speaker for granting this debate, my fifth, on capital funding for the Health Department, particularly for new hospital projects. I strongly welcome the extra £34 billion that is going into the NHS over the next few years. The Government are rightly making the NHS a priority in their spending plan. In doing so, they are helping to create certainty for our hospitals, future-proofing them for the challenges ahead. However, this day-to-day funding does not account for bigger-scale capital funding projects, such as new hospitals. The Health Service Journal suggests that in the past two years NHS providers have requested about £8.7 billion of capital funding in more than 360 formal bids.
The Prime Minister’s announcement of an £850 million cash boost for 20 new hospital upgrades is a step in the right direction, but we risk a healthcare crisis in this country if we do not act quickly. Many of our hospitals in England were built in the 1960s and 1970s and, while our model of care has modernised, the infrastructure has fallen behind. Many of our NHS hospitals are no longer fit for the 21st century, sadly none more so than the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust in Harlow.
You will no doubt understand the frustration of our constituents, Madam Deputy Speaker, and those of our neighbours, particularly those who work at the Princess Alexandra, that our Harlow hospital was not included in the hospital upgrade programme announced by the Prime Minister. As well as the numerous letters and conversations with colleagues, I have raised on no fewer than 30 occasions during questions in the Chamber the need for a new hospital health campus to serve west Essex. I mentioned that this is my fifth debate. I have also tabled 11 Commons motions. I am pleased to see a number of right hon. and hon. Members here who have also championed the case for increased hospital funding. Six local MPs, including you, Madam Deputy Speaker, helped significantly in writing to the Health Secretary in May last year, pledging their support for a new hospital and acknowledging its importance to the vitality of community and also to the economy of the entire region.”
Our passion and determination for a new health campus is founded in the desperate situation that we find ourselves in.
The full debate can be found here.
Popularity: 1% [?]