A new A&E department would be the “icing on the birthday cake” for 30-year-old Milton Keynes Hospital, MPs have announced.
The main body of the hospital opened its doors to patients on June 11 1984, the hard-won result of a citywide Dying For A Hospital campaign.
Today MPs Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart praised the NHS staff for their “outstanding” hard work over the past three decades.
Both vowed to continue putting pressure on the government to finance a new A&E department, backed by a Citizen campaign, to meet the needs of the growing population.
“The perfect present for this 30th birthday year would be a new A&E,” said Mark.
Iain said: “In my view it’s a no-brainer – we need the physical space of a new A&E. We will do all we can to get approval during this year.”
Meanwhile busy hospital nurse Rebecca Oliver is celebrating her own special anniversary.
She was born at Milton Keynes hospital 28 years ago, studied there as a student and now works full time for the research and development team.
“Patients think it’s lovely that I work here now,” she said. “They often ask where I was born and it’s lovely to say ‘in this hospital’. It adds a special connection,” she said.
“As for the hospital, it has been great watching it grow and improve over the years.”
Phase one of the hospital included A&E, four operating theatres, general and specialist wards, pathology and an ambulance station. Phase two took another four years to complete and opened in 1988. Hospital chief executive Joe Harrison said: “We are delighted to be marking our 30th birthday this year. So much has changed since the initial public campaign which brought our hospital to this rapidly expanding town.
“Not only are we seeing many times more patients than in those early days, the number of treatments we offer and conditions we are able to treat has also grown rapidly. In many ways, the hospital and Milton Keynes have grown up together.
“It is fair to say we have been through some difficult times, but things are really improving now. Patients are seeing the improvement in the care we are providing and can see the work we are doing to give safe, effective care to the people of Milton Keynes and beyond.
“The best 30th birthday present we could ask for? People feeling proud of their local hospital. Personally, I feel tremendously proud of the work our amazing staff do every day.”