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16.08.18

Major hospital stalled by Carillion collapse will go ahead under government funding deal

The construction of a major Midlands hospital that had its future cast into doubt following the collapse of infrastructure giant Carillion has been given the go-ahead following further funding from the government and the local trust.

The construction plans for Midland Metropolitan Hospital, which will hold 15 operating theatres and at least 669 beds, were thrown into question when Carillion went bankrupt in January. But today, the government came to an agreement to fund the remainder of the work ahead of a 2022 opening date.

Work had originally started under a PFI agreement but was halted when the firm went into liquidation. The government has been working closely with Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust since then to reach a resolution.

The trust’s chief executive, Toby Lewis, said the voices of local residents, clinicians, and stakeholders have “been clearly heard” and noted that the trust is delighted with the publicly-financed plan.

He added: “We will continue to engage with the construction market over coming weeks and build towards a formal procurement by November this year. We always said Midland Met would be delivered and the doubters were wrong. The prime minister’s promise is being honoured.”

Lewis’ hopes for Midland Met were thrown into chaos earlier this year when Carillion’s liquidation led to severe concerns about the £350m under-construction Birmingham hospital. In June the stalled hospital suffered another blow when it lost over £100m in funding from the European Investment Bank.  The delays to the construction of Midland Met were set to cost the trust an eight-figure sum, Lewis said in June.

Now, under the plans, the hospital will hold state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, as well as provide acute care for adults and children, offering maternity care and specialised surgery to around 750,000 residents.

Health minister Stephen Barclay said: “We are not only giving patients in Sandwell and West Birmingham world-class NHS facilities on their doorstep, but also showing our determination to build an NHS fit for the future – all whilst making sure taxpayers’ money is spent in the best possible way.”

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Image credit: Joe Giddens, PA Images

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