Plans to build the new hospital at the Royal Sussex County have been in place long before the current government, with a business case for the hospital previously been approved under Labour in 2009.
By the last general election, the Trust was already working on detailed plans to make the new hospital happen. Provisional approval had been made by the last government subject to a number of conditions being fulfilled, not least planning consent, which was subsequently granted by the council unanimously in January 2012.
The major issues that needed to be addressed for the hospital plan to get a green light have now been resolved. However, the project has stalled with the Department of Health and Treasury ever since, and final approval is being put at risk because the Trust is being asked to make £30m cuts each year for the next three years.
Given that most of the work took place before the Conservative led coalition was in power and Simon Kirby was MP, and scant progress has been made since, where has Simon Kirby been for the past three years to help make this vital new hospital happen? The fact that, 18 months before the next general election, Mr Kirby has belatedly begun to campagin for the hospital project to get off the ground looks exactly like the playing of party politics with the NHS that he has publicly bemoaned.
Member, Meridian Branch Labour Party, Peacehaven