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Health Service Capital Estate

Volume 689: debated on Tuesday 23 February 2021

A total of £600 million has been allocated to tackle almost 1,800 urgent maintenance projects across 178 trusts, all due for completion by March 2012, while £450 million has been invested to upgrade A&E facilities, with funding awarded to over 120 trusts, and improve over 190 urgent treatment sites this winter. In addition, of course, the Prime Minister has confirmed that 40 new hospitals will be built by 2030, with an additional eight further schemes to be identified. Six of these are already under construction. With your permission, Mr Speaker, may I group this question with Question 21?

NHS staff at Royal Stoke University Hospital in my constituency have been using the old Stoke Royal Infirmary site, which stopped delivering clinical services in 2012, for car parking. However, with the demolition of buildings on the site in readiness for the creation of many new houses, hospital staff really need the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust’s proposed plans for a multi-storey car park to come to fruition. Will the Minister ensure that the necessary investment is forthcoming for additional staff car parking facilities at Royal Stoke University Hospital to support our wonderful NHS staff and unlock this vital regeneration project for the people of Stoke-on-Trent?

I am very grateful to my hon. Friend, who is a strong champion and a strong voice for Stoke and for her local hospital. The Government are committed to increasing hospital car parking capacity and supporting trusts to invest in their car parks. We will continue working with NHS England, as well as trusts such as her own, to understand the specific requirements. I understand that an emergency funding application by the Royal Stoke in this respect has been received and is currently being considered. However, I am always happy to discuss with her the specifics of the case she raises.

Harrogate District Hospital, which is an excellent hospital, will be reducing its carbon footprint by a quarter and making energy cost savings thanks to a £40 million Government grant, but the healthcare estate is much more than hospitals: it is also doctors’ surgeries, specialised units and so on. What steps is my hon. Friend taking to ensure that the whole estate, whether large or small, is included in the decarbonisation investment programme?

How could I have failed to remember to group my hon. Friend’s question? I apologise to him. He is right to pay tribute to his local hospital in Harrogate. Zero carbon and environmental sustainability are key design criteria in our 40 hospitals programme, but it is also right, as he says, for that to flow throughout the NHS estate. The NHS’s net zero report provides a detailed plan for decarbonising the whole NHS estate and services. In that context, there is already a range of action under way, including the £50 million NHS energy efficiency fund, which, as a small example, is upgrading lighting across all NHS buildings, big and small, to improve environmental sustainability.