HEALTH chiefs say the sole bidder to build a new £300m hospital at Wynyard is “totally committed” to the plans.
Alan Foster, chief executive of North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, confirmed the new state-of-the-art facility which will replace hospitals in Hartlepool and Stockton is still on track to open in 2017.
It comes after the Trust received one submission from Brookfield Multiplex to design, build and operate the new hospital and the Trust is currently working with the firm to refine the design and ensure its final bid represents value for money,
Speaking at yesterday’s board meeting, Mr Foster reassured board members the Trust is also providing information to regulators Monitor, the Department of Health and the Treasury on a regular basis around funding arrangements.
The meeting was held yesterday at the University Hospital of Hartlepool, in Holdforth Road.
Mr Foster said: “We are evaluating the bid over the coming months to make sure it represents value for money.
“We met with the Department of Health, the Treasury and Monitor ten days ago to make sure that there was continued support and we want to ensure that they are kept fully briefed and informed.”
He said directors from Brookfield Multiplex had met with hospital staff recently to discuss plans for the new hospital site.
Mr Foster added: “Brookfield Multiplex have praised the staff for their involvement and their insight.
“They now share the vision that we have and are totally committed to building the hospital.
“There may have been some bidders pull out but I want to reassure the board that the bidders that we have got are first class and are fully committed to build this.”
Mr Foster said there is a lot going on behind the scenes but the scheme is “very much moving forward”.
Brookfield Multiplex submitted its initial bid after meetings with doctors, nurses, other health professionals and support staff.
Mr Foster said: “The good point about having one bidder, as long as it ensures value for money, will mean that the dialogue should be quicker at the stage of detailed design meetings.
“The open plan of 2017 should remain intact.”