Waltham Forest Council’s Cabinet today formally agreed to give its full backing to a proposal to knock down Whipps Cross University Hospital and rebuild it as a first class, fit-for-purpose hospital facility.
In recent years the council has been calling on the Government to redevelop the hospital in order to create a 21st Century facility which can provide the modern, efficient and collaborative services.
The local authority has been working in partnership with Barts Health NHS Trust, NHS Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group and North East London NHS Foundation Trust to realise this vision.
The organisations, led by Barts Health, have produced a Whipps Cross Strategic Outline Case (SOC), which is a formal outline of the redevelopment proposal.
Today, Waltham Forest’s Cabinet members officially endorsed the SOC, which will now be submitted to NHS Improvement for its consideration.
Should NHS Improvement approve the SOC, Barts Health and its partners, including the Council, can then proceed to developing an Outline Business Case for the redevelopment.Cllr Ahsan Khan, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: "We’ve been very clear that the current Whipps Cross University Hospital site is not fit-for-purpose, and is in desperate need of redevelopment if it is to fully meet the needs of our diverse and growing population.
"Today marks an exciting step forward in the work the Council, Barts Health, and other partners have been carrying out to achieve our shared ambition for Whipps’ future."
While the SOC is considered by NHS Improvement, the council said it will support the management team at Whipps as it implements further changes as part of its wider improvement project.
The Hospital was again rated ‘Inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in December, last year. While the CQC’s report highlighted areas where improvements had been made, it gave the hospital an ‘Inadequate overall’ rating. The judgement came after the CQC gave the same rating to the hospital in March, 2015, prompting Barts Health NHS Trust to implement an urgent improvement plan.
The council says the reports only strengthen the argument that Whipps Cross Hospital needs to be rebuilt to create a state of the art hospital.