HEALTH chiefs have described talks held this week with Government officials over a new £300m hospital at Wynyard as “really positive”.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has been working to replace the University Hospital of Hartlepool and the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, for more than a decade.
Trust bosses are looking to secure £100m from the Department of Health towards the new hospital - which has a target opening date of 2017 - and officials met in London on Tuesday of this week.
Talks went well and the Trust now needs to work on a few “minor” points before the Government is finally expected to make a decision on the funding.
Speaking at a meeting of the board of directors yesterday, Trust chairman Paul Garvin said: “We held a meeting with the Department of Health on Tuesday morning to discuss the new hospital and the progress with that.
“It was a really positive meeting. There are some minor things that we just need to work on but we continue to be on track and are doing what we need to do.
“Within a short period of time we should have a decision.
“So far, so good. It is good progress.”
Lynne Hodgson, the trust’s director of finance information and technology, added: “There are a few extra pieces of work that need to be done over the next two to three weeks and then the Department of Health can make a final decision.”
Mrs Hodgson added that a lot of work was going on behind the scenes around procurement and new and innovative technology to be used in the new state-of-the-art hospital - if it gets the green light.
Yesterday’s meeting was held at the Univesity Hospital of Hartlepool, in Holdforth Road. Trust chiefs have been involved in detailed talks with both regulator Monitor and Department of Health after submitting a revised business case last August.
Earlier this year the Trust had to re-submit its original planning application to Hartlepool Borough Council after its original permission lapsed.
If it gets the go-ahead from the Department of Health the new 19-hectare site will be a 568-bed hospital with an extra 66 day beds, including 26 wards, 14 operating theatres and outpatient, diagnostic and endoscopy facilities.
The new hospital will be 100 per cent single patient bedrooms, with 1,500 car parking spaces. In October 2009, the council granted outline planning permission for the development, when it was expected the scheme could be completed by the spring of 2015.
But a series of setbacks, including the withdrawal of Government funding, meant the planning permission granted almost four years ago had to be regained.