The Conservatives have redoubled their pledge to build a new Royal Berkshire Hospital if they win the general election.

Pauline Jorgensen the Conservative MP candidate for Earley and Woodley, recently spent an afternoon at the Royal Berkshire Hospital with managers and the Building Berkshire Together new hospital team.

The Conservatives promised 40 new hospitals by 2030 as part of their case to the electorate at the last general election in 2019.

Councillor Jorgensen (Conservative, Hillside), also the leader of the opposition on Wokingham Borough Council, visited the kidney dialysis ward and spoke to the A&E team who explained the issues with the current buildings, and how a new hospital would benefit local residents.

She has made healthcare access for residents in Earley and Woodley a centrepiece of her campaign, and backing calls for a new hospital is front and centre of her commitments to the electorate.

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Speaking about the visit, she said: “It was fascinating to hear directly from the professionals how the new hospital would benefit residents with improved facilities for patients and staff alike.

“The development will help improve efficient patient flow and also allow state-of-the-art technology to be implemented to improve patient monitoring.

“They will also be able to sort out the parking and transport problems I have experienced first-hand and many residents, especially those with disabilities, have talked to me about.

“I am keen to help the Royal Berkshire Hospital in any way I can to deliver this important new project.

“I’m pleased to see that the Prime Minister has focused on clearing the post-pandemic backlogs with success – but there is more to do and I know only a Conservative government with a clear plan will deliver the quality healthcare residents in Earley and Woodley deserve.”

Cllr Jorgensen conducted a sole visit to the hospital on Wednesday, May 22, the day the election was called.

The Conservatives have not selected their candidate for the Reading Central constituency yet.

Cllr Jorgensen faces off against Yuan Yang, the Labour Party candidate and Tahir Maher, the Liberal Democrat contender.

Candidates for the Green Party and Reform UK in Earley and Woodley have not officially been selected yet.

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The three most likely options for the new hospital are its reconstruction on the current site in Craven Road, or a new hospital built at either the Thames Valley Park in Earley or Thames Valley Science Park in Shinfield. Both of the latter sites are within the Earley and Woodley constituency.

Labour MP candidates have pledged to retain the new hospital programme if they win power.

The Conservative promise has lagged behind expectations, with the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation in charge of the project being set to receive funding after 2030, as the government prioritises hospitals that were built with crumbling RAAC concrete.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats have also pledged to establish the 40 hospitals by committing to a 10-year major capital programme to give long-term certainty to delivering new or replaced hospital buildings.