Hospital rebuild plans ‘progressing at pace' and ‘fairly simple’ says health boss
Demolition work will begin this year says the person in charge of the project
By Sarah Ward
Kettering General Hospital’s new build plans are progressing at pace and the hospital has now jumped others in the queue, insists the health boss in charge of the project.
Polly Grimmett, who is the hospital’s director of strategic estates and strategy, gave an update to North Northamptonshire Council’s health scrutiny committee on Tuesday, saying the £400m plus scheme was ‘fairly simple’.
The hospital was one of the 40 new hospitals announced by former PM Boris Johnson back in 2019. While the hospital scheme has come under flack as none of the hospitals have as yet commenced, Polly Grimmett said the fact the new Kettering hospital would be erected on the existing Rothwell Road site and hence did not require to go through lengthy land sales and planning permissions was a plus.
“When you look at some of the other forty schemes across the UK that were actually ahead of us, they have slowed down and we have sped up because they’ve been stuck in public consultation for quite some time.
“We’ve had quite a few secretary of state visits, our local MPs are very supportive, as are NHS England to say, it’s actually a scheme that is fairly simple; won’t get stuck in the mire and can progress fairly well.
“We’ve moved from being right at the back of the 40 hospitals without any plans at all, to actually being quite near the front.”
The hospital was allocated £38m by the government to build the new energy centre (costs have since risen to £49m) and the director said work would begin on that next month. She said the energy centre needed to be built first because the site was ‘over its electrical bandwidth’ (it is heated by a 50 year old steam system which regularly breaks down) and was being currently serviced by temporary boilers.
However while the work for the new energy centre takes place some car parking on the site will be lost, with Polly Grimmett saying some staff parking would be reduced.