Source: Express and Star –
The announcement came as the Chancellor visited Rowley Regis Hospital – part of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust.
The 670-bed acute Midland Metropolitan Hospital in Grove Lane has been on the cards for a decade but has been hit by delays amid a shake up of the controversial private finance initiative, which funds new buildings but mounts up debts over many years.
The hospital is due to take up 16 acres on Grove Lane but a further 31 acres of land between Grove Lane, Cranford Street, Heath Street and Dugdale Street is to be transformed and filled with other employment opportunities and housing schemes.
Rowley Regis Hospital, which is in the Tory marginal seat of Halesowen and Rowley Regis, will see its role in providing non-acute, community based care expanded.
The area’s MP James Morris wrote to the Chancellor in 2012 asking for the Treasury to back the new hospital.
Mr Osborne said:“This ambitious package will ensure that patients across the West Midlands continue to benefit from access to world-class acute treatment and cutting edge facilities.
It is because of the difficult decisions we have taken as a government that we have been able to protect healthcare spending, and announce new facilities like the Midland Metropolitan Hospital.”
Chief Executive, Toby Lewis added:“This is a decisive moment for healthcare in the West Midlands. We welcome the determination of the Chancellor to support the regeneration of Smethwick with this vital project for patients.”
Construction of the new hospital is expected to start in 2016 and be completed by 2018-19.
Working alongside the NHS and the appointed developers, Sandwell Council has plans for an ambitious procurement tool: the West Midlands Virtual Hospital. This digitally engineered 3D walk-through building is a first-of-its-kind portal designed to showcase the region’s diverse supply chain.
Sandwell Council want to show how a major regeneration project such as Midland Metropolitan Hospital can have extended community, social and environmental benefits by creating employment opportunities and training for local people; it is well understood that supporting local businesses and creating jobs provides more than just a healthier economy – it also helps create healthier individuals, healthier households and healthier communities, therefore it is hoped contractors and their design teams involved in the specification and building of the real hospital will use the West Midlands Virtual Hospital (WMVH) as a procurement tool to source local manufactured building materials and find competent suppliers they need, right here on the doorstep of the real hospital. The WMVH will also nurture inter-trading between local SMES, educating buyers on the benefits of responsible procurement.
If you would like to find out more about the West Midlands Virtual Hospital and how it can support your company contact Steve Massey on 07929 353 232 – firstname.lastname@example.org