Hammersmith & FulhamNews

Tory claims about Charing Cross Hospital refurb are ‘lies’ say Labour

By Ben Lynch, Local Democracy Reporter

A war of words has broken out between Labour and the Conservatives in West London over a Tory MP’s claims that funding has been secured to refurbish a local hospital.

Greg Hands, the Conservative MP for Chelsea and Fulham, has claimed in leaflets that “millions” have been secured to refurbish Charing Cross Hospital “floor-by-floor”.

But, Labour’s parliamentary candidate, Ben Coleman, who is also Hammersmith and Fulham council’s deputy leader, has described the claims as a “fabrication”.

He points to a letter from the chief executive of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust from late March, which details that £13million has been received to-date to support the major redevelopment schemes at Charing Cross Hospital, St Mary’s and Hammersmith.

It adds that, of the £151.4million requested for enabling works between November 2022, and October 2023, across the three sites, the Trust has so far received only £2.9million.

A spokesperson for the Trust confirmed the figures to be correct, though clarified there was no expectation as to when the full requested sum for enabling works would be delivered.

In leaflets distributed as recently as this month, Mr Hands wrote: “We’ve got the funding, and I’m working closely with the development team to get work started as soon as possible.”

He has since made similar claims on X, reiterating he is committed to the hospital works.

Charing Cross Hospital was set to be fully refurbished by 2030, under the New Hospital Programme (NHP), a commitment in the Conservative’s 2019 election manifesto to build 40 new hospitals across England by the end of this decade.

Former Health Secretary Steve Barclay however last year pushed back the date for several sites including Charing Cross, with more urgent developments to be prioritised instead.

According to the letter sent to Cllr Coleman by Professor Tim Orchard, chief executive at Imperial, in addition to the Trust’s annual capital budget, it had received a total of £59.8million for improvements across all of its sites between 2020/21 and 2023/24.

The Trust has also received £13million to support its three redevelopment schemes as part of the NHP.

The letter continues to note that a “strategic outline case” for the full refurbishment and partial new build of Charing Cross is expected to be submitted shortly.

In a video posted to X, Cllr Coleman said the letter from Professor Orchard “proves there is no timetable, there is no agreed funding for the essential floor-by-floor refurbishment that staff and patients and families desperately need”.

Mr Hands did not respond directly to requests to clarify his assertion that funding for a “floor-by-floor” refurbishment has been secured. But, he said Labour’s plans to assess all capital programmes included in the party’s mission document “Build an NHS Fit for the Future”, would put the whole redevelopment “at risk”.

Mr Hands said: “This means a pause and possible stop to everything that is currently in progress.”

A Labour source described Mr Hands’ claim as “utter tosh”, saying: “You can’t pause a project which has no funding and no timetable.”

Cllr Coleman said: “It’s a matter of public record that the government has dropped its pledge to refurbish Charing Cross Hospital by 2030. The hospital head has confirmed to me personally they haven’t got the funding they need.

“To suggest otherwise is pure fabrication by Mr Hands.”

Pictured top: (left to right): Greg Hands, the letter that Labour take exception to and Ben Coleman (Pictures: UK Parliament/LDRS /Hammersmith and Fulham council)

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.

Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing:


If you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can make a donation which will allow us to continue to bring stories to you, both in print and online. Or please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.