The Health Secretary has repeated a pledge to ‘rebuild’ the Queen’s Medical Centre in a decade.
Conservative Matt Hancock was speaking during a visit to the hospital, which has already declared a critical incident this winter.
He was not able to give a final figure for how much the new hospital would cost, nor how the existing hospital would function while it was being rebuilt.
Shortly before the election was called, £100 million was pledged by the Conservatives to the trust as ‘seed funding’ to begin the rebuilding project.
The urgent repair bill at the trust which runs QMC and City Hospital is currently at £104 million – the second-highest in the country.
On a visit to the hospital, Mr Hancock was asked why people should believe the promise that the entire hospital would be rebuilt.
He said: “We have already extended the A&E, so that’s happened. It’s had a major expansion and it’s happened on my watch.
“I’ve already delivered an improvement to this hospital, and now we’re going to rebuild it over the next 10 years.
“There is no further commitment we can make than already having delivered improvements, and then commitment to more, and I was talking to the staff and the leadership about the plan to rebuild it over the next decade.”
The existing Accident and Emergency Department was designed for 350 patients a day, but frequently sees 550 to 600 people every day.
Last year, the layout of the department was changed in an effort to improve capacity.
But it continues to be under significant pressure.
This week, NHS Digital figures revealed some patients over the age of 80 spent almost 16 hours in the emergency department before leaving, while others were left waiting for “over 13 hours” before they received treatment.
The latest data also shows the number of people leaving A&E before being seen to or treated was almost five times the national average.
Asked whether he thought the current Accident and Emergency building was fit for purpose, he said: “We are rebuilding it over the next decade.
“I don’t deny that we need to do the big improvement, but I also wouldn’t play down at all the changes that we made in the last year which have made a significant expansion to A&E and the way it operates.”
When asked how much the ‘rebuild’ would cost, and how it would be rebuilt on the site of a working hospital, he said: “Well, the exact figure hasn’t been determined yet, because it depends on what the plans look like, so that’s why we’re doing the plans now in order to come out with a figure, but it’s hundreds of millions of pounds, and I’m looking forward to seeing the plans as they develop.
“The exact plans are very much to be lead by the hospital, but yes this site on the Derby Road has been providing healthcare for many, many years including to my grandmother who lived in Arnold and had an amazing treatment here when she was in her 90s. So yes, very much (it will be built) here.”