AS NICE as the idea might be, the building of a new Hillingdon Hospital on the RAF Uxbridge site is not a possibility, it is simply not affordable.
The existing hospital in Pield Heath Road is in a very poor state, with all of the faults you'd expect to find in a concrete 1960s tower block, which was built to last 40 years and also in wooden hut wards, built as temporary wartime emergency accommodation in 1941.
However, the replacement of the whole hospital in a single build phase would now cost upwards of £500 million and, if it were to be built at the Uxbridge site, the cost would be much higher because land would have to be purchased at premium market rates.
All this would have to happen whilst the existing hospital remained open for business on 26 acres of land which, when the time came to dispose of it, would be worth far less than the Uxbridge site would have cost.
As I'm sure all your readers who are, or have been, taxpayers would expect, the Hospital Board is charged with the responsibility of running the
Trust, with its £160 million per annum turnover, within all the rules of clinical and corporate governance.
This means that we cannot and will not spend tax money on a rebuild project, the cost of which would make us unviable as an organisation and would seriously jeopardise our ability to provide vital healthcare.
However, please be assured that it is still our intention to rebuild an affordable hospital, to the highest possible standards but this will have to be done in planned phases, largely on the Hillingdon site. In fact, the first of these phases will be the opening, in November: Bevan Ward, which will have 24 single, en suite, bedrooms.
Also, in addition to this exciting project, our Mt Vernon Treatment Centre, with its four new operating theatres and inpatient/outpatient facilities will be opening next January.
If any reader wishes to learn more about the Hospital they can join our Foundation Trust membership, which is open to all Hillingdon Borough residents, as well as to those who live in the adjoining, surrounding electoral wards.
To do so, they can contact the Trust by telephone or by visiting our web-site at www.thh.nhs.uk
chairman, The Hillingdon Hospital NHS Trust Pield Heath Road,