Prime Minister refuses to confirm funds for new hospital in Wokingham

8 Dec 2023
Clive and Ed outside the RBH talking to people

In Prime Minister’s Questions, Rishi Sunak dodged Ed Davey’s question about the status of the Government’s promise to build a new Royal Berkshire hospital which serves Reading, Wokingham and South Oxfordshire.


On 29 November in Prime Minister’s Questions, Rishi Sunak dodged Ed Davey’s question about urgent repair funds needed to fix RAAC at Harrogate Hospital. The local hospital has asked for £20 million to urgently fix the crumbling roofs and walls.


It comes as the party’s analysis of the Autumn Statement uncovered Jeremy Hunt’s plan to slash spending on hospital buildings and life-saving NHS equipment across the country by 6.2% in real terms.


With the Autumn Statement implying more big cuts to come, Wokingham Lib Dems are demanding to know how this will impact the building of a new Royal Berkshire Hospital, which was promised by the Conservatives in the 2019 General election.


Jeremy Hunt has refused to spell out where public service cuts will fall after 2024-25, but the Office for Budget Responsibility document published alongside the Autumn Statement reveals a £6.7 billion (6.9%) real-terms cut in capital spending over the next five years.


This implies an £800 million (6.2%) cut in capital spending for health and social care – mainly hospital buildings and NHS equipment – over the next five years.


Clive Jones Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Wokingham said:


“The Prime Minister’s answer today was simply not good enough and an insult to staff being treated in a crumbling hospital. Its also not fair to patient who expect to be treated in up to date facilities.


“In the wake of NHS budget cuts, it’s clear that Rishi Sunak and John Redwood MP cannot be trusted to deliver our new hospital/deliver urgent repair funds. 


“Instead of giving our new Royal Berkshire hospital the reassurance and money desperately needed, Conservative Ministers are taking it away and refusing to own up to it. 


“The Prime Minister must confirm what this fresh round of NHS cuts will mean for the new hospital that patients in Wokingham were promised.”