Cautious welcome to Market Harborough hospital ‘start date’

Artist's impression of the new hospital
Artist's impression of the new hospital

There was a cautious welcome this week to news that on-site work on Market Harborough’s new hospital will start on November 30.

The news comes after a campaign for a new hospital on the Leicester Road site that has spanned more than quarter of a century.

And it follows interventions from the very top of the NHS and the government.

The news comes in a letter from Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health, to Harborough MP Sir Edward Garnier.

The letter says: “I note your continuing concerns about delays to the hospital’s development. In light of these concerns, Department of Health officials have contacted NHS Property Services for further information. I am pleased to tell you that the contractor will formally commence stage four duties (detailed technical design) on September 14 and that on-site work will start on November 30.”

A wary Sir Edward said: “We will see if the promised progress actually happens, but I am pleased that the Secretary of State has now got involved.

“This should add some much-needed urgency into the minds of those managing the project.”

And local campaigner Cllr Phil Knowles added: “Let’s hope that this time it happens. No more false dawns, no more broken promises.

“Harborough has waited so long for this. Residents will be hopeful that finally we will see the scheme delivered.

“Another failure is simply unthinkable. We have seen the CEO of NHS England and the Secretary of State involved in our efforts to get this sorted, so let’s keep our fingers crossed.”