KGH power plant investment set for approval as Tory contenders commit to redevelopment

The town’s MP met with Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss to discuss the hospital’s rebuild

By Sam Wildman
Thursday, 21st July 2022, 2:04 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st July 2022, 2:10 pm
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss have committed to continuing with KGH's rebuild project
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss have committed to continuing with KGH's rebuild project

Investment to improve KGH’s creaking power supply system is set to be approved soon, according to the town’s MP.

Philip Hollobone said hospitals minister Maria Caulfield is due to sign off the investment in the next few weeks. Detailed business cases to address the electrical infrastructure risk and the need for a new power plant were submitted to the central NHS on July 6.

For power the hospital presently relies on a temporary steam boiler plant erected on flatbeds in the car park 10 years ago. There is also a life expired 50-year-old steam distribution pipework, 50-year-old switchgear and the main high voltage electricity supply has reached maximum capacity.

KGH's 'temporary' steam boiler plant

A total of £396m has been pledged by the Government to help rebuild the Rothwell Road hospital. NNJournal reported that, at a council meeting earlier this month, KGH’s programme director Stephen Graves said the only money that was real was £46m that was pledged in 2019.

In 2020 KGH revealed its rebuild plan but pleaded for more cash to get to at least phase three out of five planned phases.

Mr Hollobone said KGH plans to use an early drawdown of its initial funding to tackle its serious power supply issues. The Conservative, who has represented Kettering since 2005, said most of the funding will come in the period 2025-30.

He met with Mr Sunak and Liz Truss, who are both battling to become the next Conservative leader, earlier this week and said both committed to continue with the hospital’s redevelopment plans should they become Prime Minister.

Mr Hollobone said: “I made it clear to both candidates that KGH is a much loved local hospital valued by all and that we need to unlock the promised investment stream as soon as possible.

"Local residents know that we need a new Urgent Care Hub to replace the overcrowded A&E and new wards in new buildings.

"I was delighted to secure a commitment from both candidates that should they become Prime Minister they will be fully behind the redevelopment plans.”

Last month Mr Hollobone, Corby MP Tom Pursglove and Wellingborough MP Peter Bone met current Prime Minister Boris Johnson to press the case for more investment into Kettering General Hospital.

In the No. 10 meeting Mr Johnson was told by the three MPs that NHS bureaucracy was holding up the release of the initial funding and that the bottleneck needed to be unblocked.

The new Secretary of State for Health, Steve Barclay MP, was also in the meeting and is to visit KGH himself to see first hand how the redevelopment plans are being worked up.