Health secretary Matt Hancock: ‘New Addenbrooke’s Hospital to be best in the world’
Health secretary Matt Hancock has welcomed plans for a new state-of-the art hospital in Cambridge that he hopes will be “the best hospital in the world”.
The government has announced a slice of £100million will be shared by 21 NHS trusts to draw up plans for new hospitals. Among these is Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which will draw up a business case for a new hospital at Addenbrooke’s.
Today the health secretary met with Addenbrooke’s chief executive Roland Sinker to hear about his plans for the build, which is projected to happen within the next 10 years.
Speaking with the Cambridge Independent today, Mr Hancock said: “The proposal from Addenbrooke’s is not just to have a hospital that replaces the existing buildings, even though they are increasingly out of date. It’s to have one of the best hospitals in the world that combines the research brilliance of Cambridge with the best possible care for the million citizens of the county, and the six million citizens of East Anglia as a whole, who rely on Addenbrooke’s to help save lives.”
The meeting was an opportunity to hear about proposals for a hospital, which must be turned into a winning business case by health chiefs in order to secure the government funding for the redevelopment.
Mr Hancock added: “I want, as secretary of state, to be asking the question, ‘What can you do over a decade to make Addenbrooke’s the best hospital in the world?’ That is the essay question, and I have given them the money to make those plans and the commitment that when those plans come to fruition they need to be good value for money and then they will get funding.”
Asked whether he could say categorically that the new hospital would be built, the MP replied: “Yes, we have still got to go through the details of what the plan is but we have committed to the new hospital and we have given Addenbrooke’s the funding to do that design work.”
He added: “It’s a privilege to be visiting Addenbrooke’s to hear first-hand what difference a new, 21st-century hospital would mean to the dedicated staff at Cambridge University Hospitals Trust and to the community it serves.”
The tour on Monday saw the health secretary visit the neonatal unit and speak with genomics experts about the way the latest research is influencing treatment.
The government says its Health Infrastructure Plan will deliver a rolling programme of capital investment over the next decade across the NHS in England from new hospitals to new state-of-the-art equipment and AI technology, backed by the capital funding needed for patients to benefit from world-class facilities and world-class care.
It also includes a separate £200million to replace 300 diagnostic machines across 80 trusts in England to help drive earlier cancer diagnosis and improve survival. The plan will make sure no scanner or screening equipment in any hospital is older than 10 years old.
This follows the government’s recent commitment of £1.8billion in capital funding for twenty hospital upgrades and other critical infrastructure works for the NHS.
Cambridge University Hospitals chief executive Roland Sinker said: “At Addenbrooke’s and The Rosie hospitals we are uniquely poised to revolutionise healthcare. We’ve been working closely over a long period of time with government, patients and healthcare system partners to respond to rapidly growing demand for hospital and other services.
“A transformation of the workforce, digital technology and relationships with research and industry will be central in meeting the challenge. Our unbeatable location on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus will enable us to deliver on the government’s long-term plan for health and social care around wellness, prevention, early diagnosis and precision medicine.
“If anywhere can find the answers that create the future of healthcare, I’m confident that Cambridge can.”
More by this authorAlex Spencer