Maria Miller said in response to the letter from the NHS Head of the New Hospitals Programme regarding the new hospital for Basingstoke,
“The NHS head of the new Hospitals Programme is clear that she “would not have supported a move to public consultation if (we were) not confident that funding would be available”. This follows a public statement last year from the Secretary of State for Health that Basingstoke’s new hospital would be fully funded.
“It is sad that speculation over funding has risked undermining our Hospital’s Public Consultation amongst Basingstoke residents. Particularly when the consultation is continuing at pace in Winchester without these same arguments being made.
“The Public Accounts Committee is right to scrutinise public spending of national infrastructure projects and to challenge the NHS and DHSC on their planning assumptions. That is their job. The Government will respond to this Report from MPs with the national analysis as they are required to do by Parliament. But here in Basingstoke the NHS is clear. Basingstoke needs a new Hospital. The NHS is confident funding will be available. And the NHS has already released £6million of the money to our hospital, who are getting on with the job.
“I hope everyone standing for election in the May Borough elections will now join me in looking for ways to encourage residents to support the Public Consultation which closes on 17March and to look for ways to speed up delivery of this essential part of our local services.”