Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Letwin gave health chiefs a boost during a visit to Brighton this morning (Monday 15 July).
He said that the funding for a £420 million overhaul of the Royal Sussex County Hospital had been allocated.
He toured the hospital with Matthew Kershaw, chief executive of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, and Simon Kirby, the Conservative MP for Brighton Kemptown.
Mr Letwin said: “I don’t think there is any question that the hospital is going to be redeveloped. It’s not a question of whether but when.
“The chief executive and some of his colleagues showed us what it was like to be a patient at the hospital.
“Clearly it needs improvement and I’m delighted it’s going to be redeveloped.
“Your MP is lobbying everyone he can to get this to happen as soon as possible.
“I shall certainly be talking to colleagues and I hope the blockages can be resolved very fast.”
Mr Letwin said that he would speak to the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander to try to ensure that the funding was released.
Mr Kirby said: “I’m very pleased to get Oliver down to the hospital. He’s a senior figure in the government.
“The hospital needs a significant amount of investment to bring it up to a 21st century standard.
“The staff do a fantastic job but in circumstances which are far from ideal.
Mr Kirby added: “I have been making the case in Parliament that the hard-working nurses, doctors, staff and patients at the Royal Sussex deserve the very best facilities and that is why the redevelopment is so crucial.
“Following his visit I know Oliver has a new appreciation of the importance of this money for the city and I am optimistic we now have a cabinet-level voice to add to my calls from the backbenches.”
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