Rishi joined Friarage staff to start building work on the Northallerton hospital’s £35.5m surgical hub.
A ground-breaking ceremony officially marked the start of work on new operating theatres which will more than double the number of planned operations carried out at the hospital each year.
When complete in 2025, the facility will replace the hospital’s existing operating theatres with a modern surgical hub that will include six main operating theatres, two minor operating theatres, and a surgical admission and day hub.
Rishi said: “This is a really important day in the history of our hospital. This development is the most significant demonstration yet of the Government’s and local health chiefs’ commitment to the Friarage.
“We have seen a wave of new services become available over the last three years. The surgical hub is just the latest development but a very important one for the hospital’s future and I know the doctors and managers there have further plans to grow the range of services available. I will continue to support their efforts.
“The Friarage is now one of the fastest growing hospitals in the North which is great news after a period in the past where we saw services being withdrawn.”
Rishi praised the Friarage’s doctors and managers at the South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for working with him to ensure the ambitious plan could meet the business case requirements to be approved by NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care.
That approval was granted in February and work preparing the site started immediately. It is one of 50 surgical hubs being built around the UK.