Government rejects funding bid for health centre at St George's Hospital site in Hornchurch
PUBLISHED: 17:03 22 January 2019 | UPDATED: 14:47 24 January 2019
The 365-home development on the former St George's Hospital site in Hornchurch may not have a medical centre as previously proposed after the government declined to help fund its construction.
Since March 2017 when it was revealed that NHS Property Services had sold the former hospital site in Suttons Lane to Bellway Homes for £40million, the St George’s Hospital redevelopment delivery board has been trying to secure funds to create a health centre on site.
A spokesman from the Department of Health explained that the bid was part of the last planned round of Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) allocations in December 2018 and that funding was not awarded proportionally but on the strength of bids received.
Hornchurch and Upminster MP Julia Lopez raised the issue with the health secretary, Matt Hancock, in the House of Commons on Tuesday, January 15.
She said: “I shared the enormous frustration and disappointment of the St George’s Hospital Redevelopment Delivery Board upon hearing the news that their bid had not been successful.
“The board still hopes to bring health services back to the St George’s Hospital site.
“They are now seeking feedback on both the process and some specific elements of their bid to understand how this outcome was reached.
“In the meantime they continue to explore all available options to fund the centre and ensure it can be delivered and be sustainable for the local NHS going forward.”
Mr Hancock responded to Mrs Lopez’ query by saying that he looks forward to working with Mrs Lopez and local commissioners before the spending review, when the next round of the capital allocations will be set.
Schemes were evaluated against six core criteria: deliverability, service and demand management, transformation and patient benefit, financial sustainability, value for money, estates and any exception that would have to be strongly supported on critical service grounds.
A spokesman for Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Groups added: “We are extremely disappointed that our bid for capital funding for the planned new health centre on the site of St George’s Hospital in Hornchurch was not successful.
“Along with other unsuccessful bidders, we found out the outcome of our bid via a story in the media.
“As a result, we are now seeking feedback on both the process and some specific elements of our bid, in order to better understand how this outcome was reached.
“We remain committed to delivering a health and wellbeing centre, as well as space for local voluntary and community groups to use, and we are continuing to explore all available options to fund the centre and to ensure it can be delivered and be sustainable for the local NHS.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “The latest round of funding applications were highly competitive and the funding was prioritised on the strength of bids received from local NHS teams who know their patients’ needs best.”