Today, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust chairman, Richard Samuda has received the necessary permission to begin a tender process for the building of a new hospital in the region. The Midlands Metropolitan Hospital (Midland Met) will substantially replace emergency services currently provided at both City and Sandwell Hospitals.
Mr Samuda said: "We are delighted to have received approval from the Secretary of State to proceed with the new hospital in Smethwick. This reflects support for the business case from both the Department of Health and HM Treasury. This is a decisive moment. It is a huge vote of confidence in the Trust’s longstanding plan to transfer acute care onto a single site and to move care closer to home. It’s also a very exciting decision for staff and local people as it signals another important initiative in the ongoing regeneration of Sandwell."
The business case timetable requires the Trust to select a preferred construction partner by early autumn 2015, with building work commencing during spring 2016. This timeframe would see The Midland Met open its doors to patients in 2018/19. The business case has been accepted on the basis of the Government's PF2 model, and includes a £100million contribution from taxpayers.
"This decision will not only transform hospital care, but also integrated care locally. Our commitment, under the Right Care, Right Here partnership, is to develop more community-based services at our sites in Rowley Regis, at Leasowes and on Dudley Road, and to refurbish Sandwell Hospital to ensure high quality outpatient and intermediate care in West Bromwich. We have just four years to deliver on that vision and we intend to make sure that we retain the trust of local people as we re-shape services around their needs" says Trust chief executive, Toby Lewis.
Dr Nick Harding, local GP and chair of the Clinical Commissioning Group, welcomed the announcement, saying "as a commissioning body we are delighted by the decisive clarity that this announcement brings. As a local GP, I know that this is the right step for healthcare in this area."