I have welcomed today’s announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that extra cash will be provided to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, in response to my calls for the funding earlier this year.
In January, I challenged Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP to match local charitable fundraising for the Children’s Hospital in the same way he had for London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital.
On the 5 January I told the Health Secretary in the House of Commons:
Before Christmas the Chancellor pledged to match the charitable fundraising of Great Ormond Street Hospital to a maximum of £1.5 million, using money from outside the health budget. The Secretary of State will know that Great Ormond Street is one of only four specialist children’s hospital trusts in the UK, and one of the other three is in my constituency.
I then went on to ask:
Does he agree that the Government’s matched funding should be extended to all four trusts, and will he join me in making that case to the Chancellor?
After Mr Hunt said he was “happy to look charitably on the idea”, I followed up by pressing for action and, in his Budget speech today, Chancellor George Osborne announced £700,000 matched funding for the Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity appeal for a 3T MRI scanner.