The Trust is fully focused on responding to the operational demands of dealing with COVID 19, but work continues on the Whipps Cross redevelopment programme, which remains a key priority for Barts Health. As with all of our programmes of work at this time, we are assessing the implications of what is a constantly evolving picture.
Building a Brighter Future for Whipps Cross
The redevelopment of Whipps Cross is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to design a new hospital from scratch. It is also a unique chance to be at the forefront of national efforts to transform how healthcare is provided for local people, as set out in the NHS Long-Term Plan.
Our vision is for a new hospital within a wider health and wellbeing setting, alongside new homes, leisure, culture and other community facilities. The Barts Health group and our local partners are sharing some early ideas about the potential site of a new hospital, the services it will provide, and the scope of the building, in our publication, Building a Brighter Future for Whipps Cross (pdf 2MB)
The Government announced in September that it will invest in a brand new hospital at Whipps Cross. This has been confirmed in a letter from Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
A new hospital with a full range of acute health services for a growing population could be built on a fraction of the land now occupied at Whipps Cross. Our site masterplan options.pdf (3MB) envisage a new, taller, building on about one-fifth of the site, bringing all the hospital’s services closer together under one roof. The remainder of the site would be released for much-needed new homes and community facilities.
We also know that we need to rethink the way we deliver care. The needs of our population are changing and locally, as well as nationally, greater integration of services is a priority in delivering better care to our patients. We have been working with our local health and social care partners to develop a clinically led strategy for Whipps Cross. You can read about our proposed clinical models in our Health and Care Services Strategy (3MB).
As we described in our April newsletter, we are developing a business case for demolition of the buildings on the site of the former nurse’s accommodation. This ‘enabling’ work is required regardless of where a new hospital is eventually located on the site, though this area is emerging as the preferred location.
We are currently commissioning the necessary surveys to decide how demolition should proceed (eg asbestos). For example, if asbestos is found, this will need to be safely removed and disposed of by an approved contractor which we would expect to commence in September. Subject to that process, we would expect the demolition to start towards the latter part of the year. The work will not affect the provision of health services by the hospital.
For more information on this work, please see our Enabling Works Q&A’s or our Demolition Plan which has been produced to explain the proposed programming and logistics methodology for the demolition of the buildings on the Nurses’ Site at Whipps Cross Hospital.
Our vision and the case for change
A thriving local hospital
Whipps Cross Hospital provides vital services for people in east London and beyond. More than 1,600 patients are treated every day and we want to make it work well into the future.
We’ve committed to ensuring we provide a thriving local hospital, with an A&E and maternity department, as we know how important it is for our local population.
We also know that the hospital faces some challenges. Our buildings are old, the layout can be confusing and our population is growing. So we’ve come up with a vision for how we will provide care to patients in an environment that is affordable, environmentally friendly and attractive for our patients and staff.
In 2018, we commissioned a study looking at the opportunities and constraints of the site. This study, the Whipps Cross Masterplan Vision.pdf (19MB), was funded by One Public Estate, a national programme delivered in partnership by the Local Government Association and the Office of Government Property (OGP) in the Cabinet Office. Our current WX Redevelopment site masterplan.pdf [pdf] 3MB (2019) builds on this preliminary work.
We have also been working together with our partners to rethink the way we deliver care. In 2019 we developed a Health and Care Services Strategy (3MB), which sets out our vision for the way we plan to deliver care in partnership with other local health and care providers.
We have worked with staff, clinicians and experts to develop some high level hospital design principles to help guide the creation of the physical spaces which will make up the future hospital. These can be viewed here (1MB).
Have your say
We want to hear what staff, patients, residents, community groups and members of the public think about our emerging ideas, the options for the site, and this issues that are most important. Your feedback on our emerging ideas will help us continue to develop our plans for a new hospital to bring our vision to life. You can email us with your comments and questions, or to add your name to our mailing list.
We have also set up a Community Engagement Action Group which has a specific role to help us make connections with a broad range of local people and help us hear and respond to their views. You can contact Robina, Jo, Daniel, Zak, Faruk, Aaminah and Elizabeth by email.
Our story told through our newsletters
We have been keeping our staff and local people up to date with the story of our redevelopment programme over the last few years in periodic newsletters. They are all available here as downloadable documents.
In the June 2020 issue, Redevelopment Director Alastair Finney sets out the next stages of the redevelopment programme, we introduce the Green at Barts sustainability group, and outline the plans for beginning 'enabling works' on the Whipps Cross site later this year.
The April 2020 issue provides an update from Group Chief Executive Alwen Williams on how we are continuing to progress the programme during the pandemic, as well as an overview of responses to our engagement work and design principles for a future building.
Our January 2020 issue (8MB) features our vision for improving health and care services with our local partners, an update on engagement, our latest timeline and more.
In October 2019, we published some early ideas about the about the potential site of a new hospital, the services it will provide, and the scope of the building, in our publication, Building a Brighter Future for Whipps Cross (2MB).
In our August 2019 (2MB) issue, Ken Aswani of Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group, explains his vision for how healthcare should be delivered in the future. We introduce some of our Community Engagement Action Group members, and give an update on the work we’ve been doing during 2019 to find out what matters to local people about the redevelopment.
In our May 2019 issue (3MB) , we reported on the visit to the hospital of Secretary of State for Health, the Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, and Iain Duncan Smith MP, at which the Secretary of State told staff that the need to improve the estate was “evident to anybody walking around it”. We also shared the exciting news that we had been given the green light to develop a more detailed case for redevelopment.
Issue 5 August 2018 (13MB) covered Whipps Cross celebrating the NHS 70th birthday, and included a timeline about the hospital over those 70 years.
A public meeting about the redevelopment in Chingford was covered in the May 2018 edition (3MB), along with insight into the world of the trust archivist.
Back in December 2017 we were celebrating Whipps Cross Hospital’s Centenary. This was marked by a visit to the hospital by the Duchess of York (3MB).
Our 2. October 2017 (8MB) newsletter reported on improved ratings from the Care Quality Commission and on a visit from Waltham Forest Councillors.
Our first newsletter was issued in July 2017 and gave an introduction to what the redevelopment programme is all about (4MB).
Barts Health is working on the Whipps Cross redevelopment programme in partnership with:
- East London Health and Care Partnership
- London Borough of Waltham Forest
- North East London NHS Foundation Trust
- Waltham Forest, Newham and Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Groups
- Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Groups
These partner organisations have agreed a condordat which affirms how they will work together to deliver their shared vision.
Alwen Williams, Group Chief Executive of Barts Health said, "Whipps Cross is such a valued asset for our community, and the agreement we’ve signed shows that we are all committed to delivering a shared plan to make the best use of the site for generations to come."