The Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, has wecolmed news that patients across Sandwell and western Birmingham will benefit from a brand-new, state-of-the-art hospital.
The news comes after the Government agreed to provide funding for the local Trust to finish building work at Midland Metropolitan Hospital – which will see the new hospital built by 2022.
When completed, Midland Metropolitan will be the first new hospital in England’s second largest urban area since 2010, equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, 15 operating theatres, and at least 669 beds. The new hospital will be an acute centre for the care of adults and children, as well as offering maternity care and specialised surgery to approximately three quarters of a million residents.
Construction work had begun on Midland Metropolitan Hospital, part of Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, under the private finance programme. However work was halted when the firm carrying out the work, Carillion, went into liquidation earlier this year and the PF2 contract was subsequently terminated. Since then, the Trust and Government have worked closely together to reach a resolution.
After examining all available options, including a replacement PF2 contractor the Trust asked the Government to provide public finance for the project.
The Government has thoroughly assessed their proposal and concluded that the only viable option was for the public sector to bring in its own contractors and that a one-off funding agreement would therefore be in the best interest of patients and taxpayers alike.
Mayor of West Midlands Andy Street said: “The collapse of Carillion left everybody involved in this vital project in a hugely challenging situation with no easy solutions. That we have successfully found a way forward is testament to the work of the Trust, Government and local partners.
“While it has been a challenge getting to where we are, Government has promised all the way through that we would find a solution that balances the needs of the tax payer with the needs of the people of Sandwell and western Birmingham.
“It is really great news that residents in this part of the region will now get the hospital they deserve by 2022.”
Health Minister, Stephen Barclay said: “Our long-term plan for the NHS will see it receive £20.5 billion a year more than it currently does by 2023, but our commitment does not stop there, as this important partnership shows.
“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."
therefore be in the best interest of patients and taxpayers alike.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and Minister for the Cabinet Office, David Lidington said: "Following detailed negotiation, the Government is pleased to announce this package of support, in partnership with Birmingham and Sandwell NHS Trust, to ensure completion of this new hospital.
"Our priority through this process has been to keep public services running smoothly and safely. The plans we put in place have ensured this, and we continue to work hard to minimise the impacts following the insolvency of Carillion, having safeguarded over 13,000 jobs to date."
Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust Chief Executive, Toby Lewis, said: “This is absolutely fantastic news. After a huge amount of work by teams across Whitehall and the Trust, and with the voices of local residents, clinicians, and stakeholders having been being clearly heard, we are delighted that we now have a definitive publicly financed plan. 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.
“Midland Met will open in 2022, and by then our partnerships with local GPs, schools and care homes will be even deeper and more integrated than today. This is a vote of confidence in our publicly financed construction plan, and in our STP strategy as a whole. The new hospital is about improving the outcomes of patient care and about regeneration and public health. We need to finish the job and seize the benefits.”