Talks over design of new hospital

HEALTH trust staff have been meeting with representatives from the three companies vying to build a £300m hospital at Wynyard to discuss the design of the new facility.

A meeting of the board of North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust met yesterday to discuss the latest position in the scheme to create a new hospital that will replace the current facilities in Hartlepool and Stockton.

Brookfield Multiplex Europe, Iridium Concesiones de Infraestructuras and Laing O’Rourke were named as bidders to construct the new hospital at the end of last year.

The firms have met with stakeholders, including planners from Hartlepool and Stockton borough councils and bosses from Wynyard Park Ltd to look at the site’s masterplan.

Utility companies have also been contacted.

The hospital trust hopes to receive detailed bids by March 31, then the three candidates will be whittled down to two.

The trust then expects to receive a more detailed design outline by June before the final company is chosen in December.

Trust chief executive Alan Foster told the meeting that he is hopeful that the scheme will be brought to the attention of the Department of Health and the Treasury, which are involved in the approval of the building programme, during a meeting in Whitehall next week.

Lynne Hodgson, the trust’s director of finance, information and technology, said: “Affordability is the key factor going forward.

“We need to make sure whatever funding option we use provides us with value for money.”

Discussions will take place next week with private pension funders, which is one of the potential methods of funding.

Mr Foster said: “We are working out how the Department of Health and the Treasury will work together and work with the trust on this scheme.”

The three bidders will be competing to provide the new hospital to serve the people of Hartlepool, Stockton and parts of Easington and Sedgefield.

Brookfield Multiplex Europe built the new hospital in Peterborough and is currently building a major hospital in Glasgow.

Meanwhile, Iridium Concesiones de Infraestructuras is a highly experienced developer of hospitals in Spain.

It has built major infrastructure projects all over Europe and has a worldwide presence ,according to health chiefs.

Laing O’Rourke has built a number of hospital developments and has been involved in a wide range of construction projects.