Stamford MP Nick Boles says the decision of a health watchdog to back Stamford Hospital is good news for his constituents.
Monitor recommended the hospital stay open and backed a £3.8m redevelopment plan at a press conference yesterday (Thursday) after an investigation into Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Trust.
A business case for revamping Stamford Hospital will now go before the trust’s board and, if approved, work could begin early next year.
Stamford MP Nick Boles wrote to Monitor and NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson in June calling for another trust to take on Stamofrd Hospital if the current trust was unable to carry out its plans.
Yesterday (Thursday) he expressed his relief at the watchdog’s decision.
He said: “I was nervous that the bigger questions about Peterborough would overwhelm the consideration and we would end up with Stamford being lost.
“What is very gratifying is that the team from Monitor are very clear that whatever the future of the trust it should continue with the Stamford Hospital plan.”
Mr Boles said he would put pressure on the trust to make sure the redevelopment was carried out.
The plan for Stamford Hospital was revealed in September last year. The trust wants to redevelop 40 per cent of the site and bring in a partner to run the remaining 60 per cent as part of a health campus.
The business case will go before the trust board on September 24 for recommendations. It will then go before the trust’s council of governors on October 9.
Trust interim chief executive Dr Peter Reading said the board would need to check the information in the business case was not out of date before giving any approval.
He added: “If it is approved then we will aim to get a project team moving as swiftly as possible. Changes should begin early in 2014.”
As part of the trust’s plans, the John Van Geest ward would be revamped, the outpatients department would have more services and oncology and haematology services would be expanded.
There would be a day treatment unit, an endoscopy service, ante-natal services, imaging including ultrasound and X-ray, and expanded therapy provision. The minor injuries unit would become nurse-led by emergency nurse practitioners, who have at least eight years’ experience and are qualified to degree level or the equivalent.
Dr Reading said the tendering process for the remaining 60 per cent of the site could tie in with the same process at Petebrorough City Hospital.