PM Boris promises £100 million to Eastbourne and Hastings hospitals – by mistake
Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday promised £100million for the redevelopment of the DGH and Conquest – but it appears to have been a mistake.
Mr Johnson made the claim during Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions after newly elected Hastings and Rye Conservative Sally-Ann Hart asked him to confirm “beautiful Hastings and Rye” would not be overlooked and necessary investment made in transport infrastructure, education and health.
The Prime Minister responded and said, “I can confirm the infrastructure revolution will penetrate all the way to Hastings and Rye and across the whole country.
“There will be an additional £100 million for the redevelopment of the Conquest Hospital and Eastbourne District General Hospital, which I know will be of benefit to my honourable friend’s constituents.”
As campaigners got set to celebrate the cash windfall, health officials said the extra money was news to them.
It then appeared the £100 million the Prime Minister was referring to was a pledge during the run-up to the election whereby a pot of money would be shared by 21 trusts across the country – incoluding the trust which runs the DGH and Conquest.
The Herald has contacted both Downing Street and the Department for Health for confirmation of what the PM’s announcement meant.
Eastbourne Conservative MP Caroline Ansell said she also believed the £100 million referred to was a funding pot to be shared between the trusts.
She said, “There is going to be a substantial government investment in our hospital trust in the next few years which is going to greatly benefit Eastbourne patients. This is excellent news and demonstrates that Conservatives value our NHS, recognise just important it is to us all and can create the wealth to invest in our public services.
“The hospital trust will first receive seed money to work up the plans for new investment and that was what the Prime Minister referenced this week in The Commons. The future investment itself, will potentially be far greater than £100m. I will work closely with hospital leaders and ministers on these investment plans in these months to come and on a raft of health challenges, not least GP appointments.”
Hastings and Rye Conservative Sally-Ann Hart has not yet responded.
A spokesperson at the trust which runs the two hospitals said, “In late September the government did announce East Sussex Healthcare was one of 21 hospital trusts to receive a share of £100million in seed funding to develop plans for major hospital projects.”