A major expansion of Milton Keynes Hospital could be on the horizon with a £178million bid – securing its future for the next 20 years.
The news follows the Citizen’s two-year campaign for a new city A&E. It will pay for a brand new ward block, new outpatient facilities, a multi-storey car park and a ‘common front door’ for the Urgent Care Centre and A&E to sit side by side.
Joe Harrison, the hospital’s chief executive, said the cash-injection is likely to be given the go-ahead if everything “falls into place” following the end of the MK Healthcare Review.
He said: “It is an outstanding sum of money. If we get it, this will make sure we can provide care to a growing population for at least the next 20 years.
“We will be able to create a hospital fit for the 21st century and it will allow us flexibility to develop our services – with every single one benefiting.”
The Citizen’s campaign, launched in February 2013 and backed by city MPs Iain Stewart and Mark Lancaster, secured £2.9million for 13 news bays in the A&E.
Now the Conservatives say they are confident about getting the £178million funding from the department of health.
Mr Stewart said: “With our continuing population growth, an expansion is just common sense, and this bid is part of a wider range of investments for MK Hospital over the next five years.”
Last year, a city-wide healthcare review suggested ‘twinning’ MK and Bedford Hospital, with one A&E significantly downgraded. Although the plans have not been officially scrapped, they are being reconsidered.
Since the latest investment in the A&E in October last year, a new medical school has been opened and work has begun on the first phase of a new cancer centre.
Plus, in two months time, refurbishment of the reception area will begin in order to build a new clinical area. A new spinal service is set to be created in the near-future as well.
Mr Lancaster told the Citizen: “Iain and I are giving this bid our complete support.
“We are ambitious for Milton Keynes and want to aim high, futureproofing our hospital for a growing population.
“Having campaigned tirelessly for an expansion of A&E and successfully delivered £2.9million for 13 new bays, we want to go even further.
“This bid however will enable our hospital to develop its clinical provision and give our healthcare professionals the support they rightly deserve in the years to come.”
The city-wide healthcare review is expected to begin public consultation in the summer.