Stockton South MP Matt Vickers has welcomed government plans to write off more than £144m of debt for South Tees NHS Trust while calling for capital investment in the ‘ageing but amazing, award winning’ University Hospital of North Tees.
The government response to the coronavirus pandemic has seen the government take the unprecedented step of writing off £13.4 billion of debt benefitting 107 NHS Trusts including James Cook’s South Tees which will benefit to the tune of £144 million pounds. The Stockton MP was keen to see North Tees also benefit from investment.
The building in which North Tees Hospital operates is dated but in recent times has benefitted from investment, in 2015 one of Stockton South’s previous MP James Wharton secured £25m investment to upgrade utilities on the site, further investment was made in developing the Urgent Care Centre on site. More recently the hospital was awarded funding for state of the art cancer screening equipment allowing for earlier detection of cancer.
The question was put forward during the first virtual PMQs which saw the Stockton South MP address the house through a ‘Zoom’ online connection, putting his question to Dominic Raab as First Secretary of State.
On behalf of the government Mr Raab confirmed the Government remained committed to record funding for the NHS, enshrined in law. He said they would encourage the Trust to continue to develop their plans for local NHS infrastructure and would look very carefully at these.
Despite the challenges of it’s dated home the hospital continues to perform and has in recent times been the recipient of numerous wards including for it’s exceptional Urgent Care service. Mr Vickers who was born at the hospital is keen to see “the amazing doctors, nurses, porters, cleaners and other staff benefit from the state of the art facilities and resources they deserve”.
“I’m determined to ensure Stockton’s local hospital gets a share of the government’s record breaking investment in the NHS. Across Stockton the workforce at the hospital are admired for their commitment and determination and the coronavirus acts to remind us of the work of our amazing hospital.
“There is the potential to make real improvements on the site and I have spoken to relevant ministers and met with representatives of the trust and am determined to see that potential fulfilled.”
"I will not stop pushing the Government on this until we get it done"