Cabinet minister Oliver Letwin gives assurances over £420m redevelopment of Royal Sussex County Hospital (From The Argus)
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Cabinet minister Oliver Letwin gives assurances over £420m redevelopment of Royal Sussex County Hospital
An influential minister has given firm assurances there is “no doubt” a £420 million redevelopment of a hospital will happen.
Despite being granted planning approval more than a year ago, the revamp of the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton has stalled.
Hospital chiefs said the government had not signed off on the cash, which had put back the plans by 20 months.
But, after visiting the site yesterday, cabinet minister and senior Tory figure Oliver Letwin it was “not a case of whether” the hospital got redeveloped, “but when”.
Speaking to The Argus, Mr Letwin said: “I think there’s no doubt whatsoever that this hospital is in need of redevelopment.
“The chief executive and some of his colleagues showed a number of us what it is like for patients coming through the hospital.
“It’s clear that there’s a very big contrast between the quality of work from the staff and the conditions they are working in.”
He added: “I do not think there is any doubt this will happen.
“It’s just a question of getting the documents in place to approve it.”
Mr Letwin said he would “absolutely” be talking to ministerial colleagues in the Treasury and Department for Health to speed along the application.
He said he believed the paperwork had now reached the Treasury and he was keen for it to be signed off as quickly as possible
Mr Letwin was invited down to have a tour around the hospital by Brighton Kemptown MP Simon Kirby
But he denied his presence was in anyway related to gathering support for the Tories ahead of the 2015 election.
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