No money for new hospital until 2034, Government tells disappointed Doncaster MPs

Politicians in Doncaster have reacted with upset after being told by the Government there will be no money to build a new hospital in the city until at least 2034.
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The city’s three MPs – Dame Rose Winterton and Ed Miliband (both Labour) and Nick Fletcher (Conservative) met with Health Minister Lord Markham where they were delivered the shock blow.

Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones has also condemned the decision which comes nearly a year after a new hospital promised by the Government to replace crumbling Doncaster Royal Infirmary was rejected.

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In a joint statement, Dame Rosie and Mr Milband said: “At the meeting with Health Minister Lord Markham, we once again expressed our disappointment that Doncaster Royal Infirmary had not been included in the 40 new hospitals announced by the government, despite expectations that it would be.

Health Minister Lord Markham has told Doncaster MPs Nick Fletcher, Ed Miliband and Dame Rosie Winterton there is no money on the table for a new hospital in the city.Health Minister Lord Markham has told Doncaster MPs Nick Fletcher, Ed Miliband and Dame Rosie Winterton there is no money on the table for a new hospital in the city.
Health Minister Lord Markham has told Doncaster MPs Nick Fletcher, Ed Miliband and Dame Rosie Winterton there is no money on the table for a new hospital in the city.

"The Minister made clear that there would be no more bids for new hospitals until 2030, with no money until 2034 at the earliest.

“We stressed the urgent need for repairs to maintain patient and staff safety and to provide a hospital service that the people of Doncaster deserve.

"The Minister praised the efforts of those who have been putting together the bids for urgent work.

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"He was encouraging about the £25 million needed to repair the Department of Critical Care but could not confirm whether funding would be found from capital budgets for the remaining significant sums for the East Ward Block and the Women and Children’s Block.

“Whilst we welcome the potential funding to repair the Department of Critical Care, we emphasised the local need for action on the remaining urgent work needed.

"After the huge blow of not getting a new hospital, the people of Doncaster need our existing hospital brought up to decent standards.”

Mayor Jones said: “Sadly no sign of a new hospital for Doncaster. They were effectively told that there would be no chance of any money for a new hospital until at least 2034 and even then nothing is certain.

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“This is deeply disappointing considering the current state of Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

“If UK government, Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt are not willing to fund a new hospital for Doncaster then we urgently need funding for repairs to ensure staff and patient safety.”

Mr Fletcher said: "I haven’t given up. Far from it. It’s just begun.

“I am disappointed on so many levels in regard to this. We had a meeting yesterday with Government. The message was that we should be given extra funding for repairs to our hospital very soon with some additional funds maybe later this year. The Minister says he simply hasn’t got the £1.4 billion we need for a new hospital.

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“I was disappointed but not surprised to hear that. However if we give up at the first hurdle then we will never get anywhere.

“I am most of all disappointed with my fellow Doncaster MPs and the Mayor of Doncaster. They have thrown in the towel. They have given in. Look at their media announcements which they put out within hours of the hospital meeting.

“They do what they always do. Give in. That’s not the way to succeed in business or in life. We have to be proactive like we have been with the airport.

“We need a new hospital. That is a fact. We shall get that new hospital. Immediately following my election I launched the campaign to get that new hospital. I have worked tirelessly to that end. As your MP, I will continue to work tirelessly until we get our new hospital. That is a promise you can take to the bank.

“I will press Government and hold them to account.

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“There is an old saying that Rome was not built In a day. It’s certainly true of our hospital. We shall get there.

“Keep the faith. Stay strong. I haven’t given up. I am on it.”

Since the summer of 2019, Doncaster Council and Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Teaching Hospitals Trust have been working on proposals to redevelop the Doncaster Waterfront area adjacent to Doncaster College for a new hospital.

Doncaster Royal Infirmary was initially built in the 1930s, with further development and expansion in the 1960s and 1980s but due to the hospital’s age, there are around 600 outstanding maintenance jobs across DRI’s numerous buildings, with an estimated value of £118 million.

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The estimated cost of a new hospital would be around £1.37 billion and would take around five years to complete.

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson had previously said that Doncaster was, “very much in the running,” for a new hospital.

And former Health Secretary Matt Hancock said, “I can see a strong case why Doncaster needs to be one of the hospitals we build.”

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