MP’s anger over delays to new hospital at Wynyard

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.
Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.

HARTLEPOOL MP Iain Wright has accused the Government of “washing their hands” over the Wynyard hospital debate.

The plan for a £300m hospital at Wynyard had been put forward to replace outdated services at the University Hospital of Hartlepool and the University Hospital of North Tees.

In June 2010 the Government said the scheme - which was then due to cost £464m - was too costly and even though smaller plans were passed for a £300m build in February there is still no official start date.

Bosses from the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust are now working closely with officlas from the Department of Health to see if a fresh finacial package can be agreed.

The delay has angered town MP Mr Wright, who said: “I think the whole process would be deemed farcical were it not so serious.

“The issue is about the future of hospital services in our area but the Government has washed its hands of it.”

Mr Wright’s sentiments were echoed by Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham, whose constituency includes the Wynyard area.

Mr Cunningham said: “I’m told Ministers accept a new hospital to replace two existing ones at North Tees and Hartlepool is the right way forward.

“When will they act to remove the final barriers to the project and give the support that is needed?”

A health trust spokeswoman said: “The Department of Health has been asking for clarification about the scheme and they will decide whether they can support us with the £100m public dividend capital we’re looking for alongside the private finance money.”

The fresh plans for the hospital include a 568-bed facility with an extra 66 day beds, including 26 wards, 14 operating theatres and outpatient, diagnostic and endoscopy facilities.

It will be made up of single-patient bedrooms, with 1,500 car parking spaces for patients, staff and visitors.

A Department of Health spokesman said it is currently considering the business case put forward by the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

He said: “The proposals represent a very significant financial commitment and it is vital we ensure they are value for money and affordable to the trust,” he added.