MP backs hospital chief’s criticism of government’s NHS newbuild funding plan

11th October 2019
Southport Hospital-liz-bil
PIC: Southport Labour parliamentary candidate Liz Savage and MP Bill Esterson at Southport & Formby hospital

MP Bill Esterson has added his voice to criticism of the government over the handling of a recent funding announcement for new hospital buildings.

Southport & Ormskirk NHS Trust chief executive Silas Nicholls had hoped to secure £100m to build a new state of the art hospital to replace the two current sites which he said were no longer fit for purpose.
The bid by Southport and Ormskirk was turned down. Similarly, Liverpool Women’s Hospital chief executive Kathryn Thomson this week accused government Ministers of being “disrespectful” to NHS staff in relation to the announcements made by the Prime Minister.
Ms Thomson told the healthcare website HSJ that the Trust’s bid for £100m for a newbuild was unsuccessful, but that she had not had any official confirmation.
She said: “We don’t see any transparency in this process. We’ve asked a number of times for feedback on what prevented us getting something, so we could rationalise it, but we’ve never had anything back. It’s not respectful when what you’re having to do is grope around for the list and hope that you’re on it. If we were to treat our staff in that way, we’d be criticised, so I think the national leadership needs to step up to the plate and have those honest conversations.”

Mr Esterson added: “The Liverpool Women’s Hospital Chief Executive, Kathryn Thomson, is right. It shows a total lack of disrespect to not even contact the hospital trusts that have spent so much time and effort putting together bids for much-needed new buildings.

“It’s true for the Women’s Hospital and Southport also desperately needs new funds including for a walk-in centre which would take the pressure off A&E.

“The government needs to stop using the NHS in this way, to get cheap and quick headlines without engaging with the NHS leaders who are dealing with the issues of crumbling hospitals on a day to day basis.”