Health bosses trying to reaasure government and regulators over new £300m Wynyard hospital

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HEALTH chiefs say they are working hard to reassure central government and their own regulators that a scheme for a new £300m hospital is affordable.

Board members of the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust were given an update on the financial state of the project when they met yesterday.

The trust currently has just one bid on the table from a potential developer to spearhead the project after responding to invitations for interest.

Brookfield Multiplex Europe was the only firm to submit a bid.

Another developer, Laing O’Rourke, had expressed an interest and entered into talks with the trust but did not submit a bid by the end of discussions.

The trust says extensive work is now going on to satisfy the Department of Health, the Treasury and health watchdog Monitor.

A report by Lynne Hodgson, the trust’s director of finance, said: “The trust is currently undertaking an evaluation of the bid received at phase one of the competitive dialogue procurement process.

“The trust is considering the impact of receiving only one submission and will adjust the process going forward to ensure a fair and equitable analysis is undertaken to deliver compliance with Treasury requirements on value for money.

“It is extremely important to note, however, that at this stage this review will not prevent the trust from proceeding with the next phase of the competitive dialogue process with the remaining bidder.”

The trust added talks are also ongoing with a potential funder for the project in Annuity Funders.

Hospital bosses decided to look at pension schemes for possible funding after the new government axed public funding for Wynyard hospital and questions were raised over Private Finance Initaitive (PFI) schemes.

The report added: “The trust has a statutory responsibility to demonstrate value for money.

“It is therefore imperative that prior to moving into the next stage of dialogue with a single bidder that appropriate approvals have been received from the Department for Health and Treasury.

“The funding solution is key to delivering this project, a robust funding solution needs to be agreed with the Department for Health and Treasury prior to stage two of the competitive dialogue stage commencing.”