‘We’re still working to secure new hospital’ says Doncaster Royal Infirmary boss
Bosses at Doncaster Royal Infirmary say they are still working to get Doncaster a new hospital after the Prime Minister said the borough was still in the running.
Questioned by Don Valley MP Nick Fletcher last week, Boris Johnson said ‘his local trust’ was ‘very much in the running in the current open competition for the next eight hospitals’ on top of 40 already been announced.
Richard Parker OBE, chief executive at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, which runs DRI, said: “We are continuing to work to realise our ambition of securing funding to build an outstanding new hospital in Doncaster.
"The Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care have indicated that there will be funding for a further eight to 10 new facilities in the future, and as such we are developing the business case to ensure that we are in the best position possible to secure this investment.”
Don Valley Conservative MP Mr Fletcher is was optimistic about Doncaster getting its new hospital.
He said: “I was encouraged by the Prime Minister’s answer last week. I am optimistic that Doncaster will get a new hospital.
"This is an issue I’ve campaigned on since I was elected as the first ever Conservative MP for Don Valley. It’s important to make sure we demonstrate our commitment to ‘Level Up’ the north and by campaigning on this issue I hope to show the people of Doncaster that I am on your side. This is the second time I’ve asked about this issue in PMQs.
"I intend to keep working hard on this so we get a new hospital building. The Conservatives are committed to Doncaster and my campaign reflects this positive attitude.”
But three of the borough’s highest profile politicians said it was time the Government acted.
In a joint statement, Mayor Ros Jones, and Labour MPs Ed Miliband and Rosie Winterton said: “The Prime Minister and the Health Secretary came to Doncaster in the run up to the 2019 General Election and said there was a strong case for a new hospital in Doncaster.
“Despite those assurances we were not included in the 40 new hospitals announced last year despite being ‘very much in the running’.
“All we have been told is that we can put in a bid for the next round at some time in the Autumn.
“Nothing new was announced by the Prime Minister. It is time they delivered for the people of Doncaster.”
Doncaster Council has already earmarked land on the River Don waterfront in the town centre as a potential site.
Parts of Doncaster Royal Infirmary date back to the 1930s, and it has a backlog of urgent repairs. Bosses are concerned the infrastructure is unable to cope with modern demands for things like power.
After a visit to DRI in January, health secretary Matt Hancock said of a new hospital: “I’ve looked round the hospital and seen that it is ageing, and that there are some parts dating back to the 1930s. There is a strong case to be made.”