Doncaster 'very much in running for new hospital' says Prime Minister
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said Doncaster ‘is in the running’ for a new hospital after ministers snubbed the borough in previous announcements.
The PM, responding to a question from Conservative Don Valley MP Nick Fletcher in the House of Commons, said Doncaster & Bassetlaw NHS Trust was being considered as a site for eight new specialist hospitals.
A previous announcement on plans for 40 hospitals up and down the country did not include the borough.
This was despite Health Secretary Matt Hancock visiting Doncaster Royal Infirmary just weeks after the election of Mr Fletcher – the first Doncaster Tory MP since the 1960s – to discuss a new site.
DMBC has secured land along the town’s waterfront next to Doncaster College. The wider plan – thought to cost over £900 million – also includes higher education facilities to train the next generation of healthcare professionals.
Politicians from both Labour, Conservatives and an array of public and private sector leaders, have come behind a project to bring a new hospital to the town by 2025.
The new site would be built to the highest environmental standards, be ready and equipped for future pandemics and provide state-of-the-art facilities for staff and patients.
The need for a new hospital is evident as DRI currently has a repairs backlog of £11.2 million on maintenance alone and 600 jobs are outstanding to get the hospital up to scratch.
Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Fletcher said: “Back in July last year I informed the Prime Minister the need for a new hospital in Doncaster. Sadly, Doncaster was not mentioned in the first 40 hospitals promised in the manifesto but the building for a further eight specialist hospitals was.
“Does my right honourable friend agree with me that a new hospital will prove to the people of Doncaster that this government is committed to building back better and levelling up their town?”
In response, Mr Johnson said: “I mentioned my honourable friend is a fantastic advocate of Doncaster and he is right to campaign in the way that he does.
“I wish I could give him a cut and dry yes or no answer today, but I can tell him that his local trust is very much in the running in the current open competition for the next eight hospitals on top of the 40 that we’re already building.”