South Yorkshire Mayor calls upon government to fund new hospital for Doncaster

The Mayor of South Yorkshire has called upon the government to fund a new hospital for Doncaster following meeting with a minister.
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South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard and Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones met with Lord Markham, Under-Secretary for the Department of Health and Social Care, on Wednesday (26 July).

The pair called for the government to commit to building a new hospital to replace Doncaster Royal Infirmary (DRI).

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It comes after a bid to the government to build the new facility was rejected in May.

Doncaster Royal InfirmaryDoncaster Royal Infirmary
Doncaster Royal Infirmary

Doncaster Council and the local NHS trust have worked since 2019 to draw up plans for the proposed facility, which would cost an estimated £1.3 billion.

The current DRI site was initially built in the 1930s with expansion in the 60s and 80s, meaning much of the hospital is now outdated.

In last week’s meeting of full council, Mayor Ros Jones revealed that the proposed new site is “shovel ready”.

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She called for provision for the new hospital to be included in the government’s yearly Autumn Statement.

Following his meeting with Lord Markham, South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard said:

“This afternoon I met with Lord Markham, the government minister responsible for making decisions about building new hospitals. Alongside Doncaster’s MPs and Mayor Ros Jones, I again asked for him to commit to build a new hospital in Doncaster.

“If the government are going to take advantage of the site we are currently clearing in Doncaster city centre, with all the benefits and regeneration that would bring, then we now have a six month window for them to make that decision. He accepted that timeframe.

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“If we do not get a commitment to a new hospital the government MUST commit to urgently putting in place the money to make sure DRI remains safe and is fit for purpose. Ultimately, they can either spend 100s of millions to fix the existing hospital or £1.3 billion to build a new hospital and regenerate vast swathes of Doncaster.

“The current standstill simply cannot continue. DRI and Doncaster urgently needs investment. Without it there is no doubt that patients and the public will suffer worse health outcomes, longer waiting lists and risks that are both avoidable and unacceptable.”