‘Don't ignore us’ – Sheffield MP hits out over Government's hospital cash snub
Sheffield MP Clive Betts accused the Government of ignoring Sheffield in the new hospital rebuilding programme after billions of pounds were earmarked for up to 40 NHS projects – none of which are in Sheffield.
The Department of Health and Social Care last week announced plans for new hospital projects, with six brand new centres being built and another 34 seeing major upgrades.
After asking Edward Argar MP, Minister of State for Health, why Weston Park - Sheffield’s nationally renowned specialist cancer hospital - wasn’t included in the list, the Sheffield South East MP urged the Government to think again.
He said: “Weston Park is a centre of excellence for the entire country and it is crucial it is funded properly. It is an old hospital providing a great service but it could be even better if it was upgraded.”
“It is disappointing that Sheffield was not mentioned in this announcement but we need to keep pressure on the Government to provide extra funding to allow Weston Park to be modernised.”
“Weston Park delivers great care to those it serves, but it need continuous investment and more modern facilities will allow it to keep providing excellent care.”
50-years-old next year, Weston Park is in desperate need of renovation and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals are believed to be preparing an ambitious charity appeal to fund a £50m upgrade to its facilities.
Mr Betts says the Government have now promised that a meeting between himself, the Minister and officers from the Trust to discuss the proposals will take place when the plans are finalised later this year.
Kirsten Major, Chief Executive, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are currently developing exciting proposals to transform Weston Park Cancer Hospital to ensure it remains one of the leading cancer treatment centres in the NHS and is at the forefront of cancer research and innovation.
“The plans will not just benefit people across Sheffield but also the whole of South Yorkshire and indeed nationally for many types of cancer. The plans are at an early stage and so we have not yet determined the final costs.
“However as soon as our plans are finalised we will be looking to secure the funding by exploring all available options. We are really grateful to Clive Betts MP for supporting our ambitions and also our charities and members of the public and business community who are also keen to see the plans come to fruition. We expect to have more details by the end of the year.”