MPs help secure boost for local hospital buildings


Local MPs, Huw Merriman and Amber Rudd, welcomed the £14M of capital investment which they helped secure for the East Sussex Healthcare Trust (ESHT) when they met with the Trust’s Chief Executive during a visit to the Conquest hospital in Hastings last Friday. This week they were also pleased to welcome the news that ESHT is one of 21 local hospital trusts that have been selected by the government for a £100m seed funding programme. This will fund the trust to set out its case for future hospital building improvements.

Dr Adrian Bull, Chief Executive of ESHT, explained to the MPs that the £14m capital loan would be used to upgrade the 40 year old hospital at Eastbourne which is used by patients across the whole of East Sussex. It will be primarily spent on internal fire compartmentalisation works such as replacing and updating fire doors, floors and walls.  This will also provide the opportunity to improve the quality of the ward accommodation.

During their visit to the Conquest hospital, Huw and Amber met staff on the Egerton orthopaedic ward and the consultant-led maternity unit where they talked to them about the challenges and achievements they deal with on a day to day basis.

Amber Rudd, MP for Hastings and Rye, said:

“It is always good to meet with Adrian Bull for our regular meetings to find out how our local hospitals are meeting the needs of our constituents. It is only right that the East Sussex Healthcare Trust has access to funds to improve our local hospitals, and I am glad funding from Government has made this possible.

“It was heartening to hear how our local trust is now seen as an exemplar by NHS regulators on how good team working helps patients. We heard how the Trust and our local Adult Social Care services have shortened the average stage in hospital from 6 days to 4 days. This means that patients are able to get back to the comfort of their homes sooner and more hospital beds are available for more patients.

“We are very lucky to have such dedicated and hard-working staff in our local NHS.”

On the Monday following the MPs visit, Health Secretary, Matt Hancock announced that ESHT was one of 21 hospital trusts which have been selected by the government to share in a £100m seed funding project to help them build a case for further capital investment in hospital buildings.

Welcoming this announcement, Huw Merriman, MP for Bexhill and Battle, said:

“It was a great privilege to meet with the frontline NHS staff who look after those in need of their care. It was clear to Amber and I that the hospital team are doing a phenomenal job in challenging times.

“Inclusion on the Government’s next phase of hospital building investment will fund the Trust to make its case for further improvements. I look forward to campaigning for this investment in Parliament and helping the trust with its direction of travel.”