Health campaigners have been reassured that plans to redevelop an 100-year-old hospital will take into account population pressures.

Campaigners were worried there would be up to 83 fewer beds in the new building, putting extra strain on an already stretched NHS.

There were also concerns the exact number of beds varied in different health trust documents, although trust bosses argued the plans were not yet finalised.

Representatives of Barts Health Trust, which runs Whipps Cross Hospital, last week attended a public meeting and addressed campaigners’ concerns in a room packed with more than 100 people.

Alwen Williams, chief executive, gave reassurances that bed calculations as part of the new plans will take population growth into account.

Ms Williams also gave details of how plans to improve care in the community have affected hospital admissions in the area.

Campaigners were pleased by her comments.

One spokesman for Waltham Forest Save Our NHS said: “We really welcome the fact that the trust has committed to this.

“As a campaign we are determined that plans must be based on the actual healthcare needs of our community, not government speak and myths, and continuing informed public discussion is important”.

John Cryer, MP for Leyton and Wanstead, was also present at the meeting, along with a speaker from the Waltham Forest Save Our NHS campaign and a local paramedic.

A panel including Alastair Finney, the hospital’s redevelopment programme director, and Dr Anwar Khan, chairman of Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), then answered questions.

The trust representatives confirmed that while no plans had yet been approved or funding allocated, they have the go-ahead to develop a full business plan.

Everyone present agreed a new hospital is needed, and is a once-in-generations chance to get a hospital of the best design and standards.

Campaigners raised concerns about how the project will be funded and about how communities will be consulted and involved in the process.

John Cryer MP made the point that we need more beds now, especially with a growing elderly population in the borough.

Alwen Williams stressed that the trust’s position absolutely is that there will be no land sold until plans for the new hospital have been finalised and agreed.

Plans to hold further public meetings throughout the redevelopment process were agreed upon.

Campaigners said they will continue to fight for a new hospital that serves the needs of the area.