Labour may scrap £480m Brighton hospital modernisation, says Conservative candidate

Posted On 04 May 2015 at 6:53 pm

Labour could scrap the £480 million modernisation of the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, a Conservative candidate said today (Monday 4 May).

The warning came from Simon Kirby, who hopes to hold the Brighton Kemptown seat that he won from Labour five years ago. The constituency includes the Royal Sussex.

He said that if Ed Miliband formed a coalition with the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP), money for projects in the south east of England could go to schemes north of the border.

Mr Kirby said that this could be part of the price exacted by the Scots Nats for supporting a minority Labour government.

Simon Kirby presenting a petition to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt

Simon Kirby presenting a petition to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt

He said that he had lobbied hard to persuade the government to approve the ten-year modernisation project.

And that for all Labour’s talk about the NHS, the party could reallocate the budget for the Royal Sussex revamp to fund projects backed by the SNP as part of a deal.

Mr Kirby said that the only way that staff and patients could be sure of having a 21st century Royal Sussex was by returning him to Parliament and electing a Conservative government.

He spoke out on the day that Labour leader Ed Miliband said that the future of the NHS was at risk in a way that it hasn’t been in a generation.

Mr Miliband was joined on his visit to Brighton and Hove by Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls and TV cook Delia Smith.

The Labour leader rallied supporters at Brighton, Hove and Sussex VI Form College (BHASVIC).

He said that the NHS was fighting for its life and added: “We have got a government that has overseen a creeping privatisation with precious NHS resources.”

Labour Brighton Kemptown candidate Nancy Platts added: “Conservative candidate Simon Kirby must come clean: is the funding for the new Sussex County Hospital redevelopment secured and locked in as he’s promised or not? If so, why is he spreading uncertainty and if not, why has he claimed it as a success in his election leaflets?

“His promises regarding local NHS services have proved to be over stated in the past. The 5500 patients at the Eaton Road Surgery learnt that the hard way when he claimed that the practice was safe and he’d cut a deal to save it. It wasn’t true. The surgery has now closed and thousands have had to find new GPs and because many other GPs are over-subscribed, hundreds of local residents now don’t have a doctor within easy walking distance of their home.

“Simon Kirby’s record speaks for itself. He voted for the needless reorganisation of the NHS that cost billions and privatisation of our NHS.  Under his watch nurses, midwives and other health care staff and others that work tirelessly every day to provide the NHS we all rely on, missed out on a pay rise and are now struggling to pay their bills.

“The NHS is not a political football and he should be honest with the people of Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven – has he secured the funding or not?”

  1. Nicky Easton Reply

    Desperate stuff from Simon Kirby. Not to mention dirty politics and without grounds. Whatever happened to his pledge to keep the campaign clean?

  2. Warren Reply

    What a scaremongerer. He has no evidence for this, but is running scared that he’ll lose his seat, so it making up any lies he can to try and cling on to the seat.

    He’s tried to take too much credit for the hospital plans already.

    It’s time for change and change to a party in power who can really save the NHS, not carve it up and sell it to their party donors. The Conservatives need to go and we can do our bit to help this by electing Nancy Platts in Brighton Kemptown.

  3. carolyne mckinlay Reply

    What a load of baloney. Not a shred of evidence just desperation from someone who knows he’s going to lose

  4. Edward Crask Reply

    Who has lied in this campaign from beginning to end? Desperate, desperate Tories who will all be looking for new jobs very shortly.

  5. sarah Reply

    Simply incredible. This man misses no opportunity to get his photo in the news but the context is ludicrous. for example the eaton place surgery which he ‘saved’ but theres at least 3000k without a gp as it closed!! its all about photo opportunity and not content im afraid, just an excuse to belittle his competitors without saying what he’s actually been doing…”lobbied hard” and for what? details plse!!!

  6. Cllr Warren Morgan Reply

    As someone who has bee involved with this modernisation since it’s inception in 2008, who chairs the group working with the Trust and local residents on the work, and as a supporter of a modern NHS, this is breathtakingingly desperate, cynical and wrong. Any respect I had for Simon has evaporated.

  7. Mick Barry Reply

    This seems to be an admission by former MP Simon Kirby that despite all his boasting the hospital plans have still not been signed off by the Treasury and could still be part of the Tory cuts that they have not specified

  8. David Reply

    You just can’t trust anything the Tories say about the NHS. They promised no top down reorganisation before the last election.. Then they wasted billions that could have been spent on care doing just that.

  9. Cllr Gill Mitchell Reply

    As a member of staff at the RSCH and someone who has for several joined with local Kemp Town residents working with the hospital trust, helping to shape the redevelopment of the hospital through its many delays under this government, these comments from Simon Kirby are a disgrace. First he tries to claim the credit for the funding and when people saw through that tactic he is now running this desperate scare story.

    Shame on you Simon Kirby. Kemptown needs a better MP and with Nancy Platts and a Labour Government we will have true committment to the NHS now and into the future.

  10. Rob B Reply

    This is pathetic stuff from the Tories. They are the ones who plan to slash public services if they get back in, not Labour.
    East Sussex County Council is already planning a 25% cut in social services if they get back in. Other councils will have similar plans in place.
    Shame on you Mr Kirby.

  11. HJarrs Reply

    Labour, the party of NHS privatisation and Private Finance Initiative (it made millionaires of financiers at the cost of billions to the tax payer), are clearly rattled by this!

    Kirby is desperately trying to hang on to his seat by all means. However, let us not forget that both Labour and Conservatives are going to cut services but refuse to say what. Both parties are wedded to an ideological position of eliminating the deficit at the cost of investment, growth and services.

    Red Tory or blue Tory, there is a difference, but not that much.

    • Gerald Wiley Reply

      But if there is a hung parliament, won’t the greens take sides with the SNP? Isn’t a vote for green, therefore, just as bad as a vote for Labour?

      And what do your other local green party parliamentary candidates (Davy Jones and Christopher Hawtree) have to say on the matter?

      • Davy Jones Reply

        Simon repeated this desperate scare on the Latest TV Vote debate for Kemptown yesterday – it is being shown tonight and tomorrow night at 8pm by the way.

        There is no evidence for it at all but it is an attempt to claim credit for the Royal Sussex developments, which in truth all local parties have supported and facilitated.

        I am glad someone here has remembered that Labour extended the marketisation of the NHS. It is clearly not safe in either Tory or Labour hands !

        The Greens would consistently vote against the Tory government, but would on a case by case basis look at what a Labour minority government had to offer – if they proposed to repeal the 2012 NHS & Social Care Act, we would support them. But we would go further and support the NHS Reinstatement Bill (that Caroline Lucas as instrumental in drafting) to take the NHS back to its pre-market mechanism days.

        • Gerald Wiley Reply

          @Davy Jones – please excuse my ignorance, but what exactly is wrong with privatisation, or rather de-nationalisation, of the NHS?

          If there is still no charge for the service to patients what is the problem?

          If the end result of ‘privatisation’ is that the same or better services are delivered in a more cost-effective manner then this is no difference to normal businesses who have the same economic pressures from competition.

          It could also lead to new ways of delivering services that are faster, cheaper and more effective through the needs to improve efficiency.

          The only people I can see who are against furthering this are the unions, and any staff that are worried that they might get paid by performance and their job functions might change – which, again, is the same as every other real business.

          So what is so special about the NHS that they have to be a never ending drain in financial resources?

          How would you ensure that the NHS continues to strive to provide services more efficiently by moving delivery into the 21st century and providing what the patients want rather than what the NHS management and employees want?

          I’ll be interested to see what the ‘NHS Reinstatement Bill’ will says and what the cost justifications are.

  12. rolivan Reply

    It will not be a 21st Century Hospital because there will still be 20th Century Buildings ,It is going to take 10 years to modernise some of it.How long would it take to build a completely New Hospital perhaps five and for the same money.It could be built at Toads Hole and The existing RSCH sold off and turned into much needed accommodation and some kept for Social Housing sounds all too easy to me.

  13. martyn allen Reply

    tory tosh

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