Health Secretary Sajid Javid's 'opening hospital in Carlisle' statement explained after backlash

A tweet sent by Mr Javid about a new cancer treatment centre in Carlisle provoked a reaction online. Credit: PA Images

The Government has defended a statement by Health Secretary Sajid Javid which said he had opened a new hospital in Carlisle and was subsequently challenged online.

Last week Mr Javid visited the city to cut the ribbon for the official opening of the The Northern Centre for Cancer Care, North Cumbria, at the Cumberland Infirmary.

On his way to the event, Mr Javid had tweeted that he was "Looking forward to opening one of new 48 hospitals later today". Last year, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said during a conference speech, that the Government would deliver 48 new hospitals by 2030.

Mr Javid's comment though was questioned by many people who replied to the tweet.

When contacted by ITV Border about the questioning of the statement, a Department for Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “There are numerous hospitals which specialise in one area of care or that are co-located – they are nonetheless hospitals. 

“We have always been clear that the scale and size of each new hospital will vary depending on what is required for each local area.

“In some cases, that will be whole new hospitals on a new site, and in other cases, a new hospital on an existing site with dedicated facilities for particular conditions, such as cancer.”

The Government defines a new hospital in three ways. These are a whole new hospital site which meets a single service or "consolidation of services", a new clinical building or new wing on a current site or a major refubishment or alternation of "all but the building frame or main structure" which will extend the life of that building.