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Anger at hospital delay in Ludlow
LUDLOW health campaigners say that there is no justification for the continuing delay with the start of work of the new £27 million hospital.
The Ludlow Community Hospital League of Friends are becoming increasingly frustrated at the lack of progress on the project that was originally scheduled to start last summer.
Efforts to end a stand-off between the developer and the NHS including a meeting between Ludlow MP Philip Dunne and a health minister have so far failed to find a solution.
The developer is believed to be demanding that the Government underwrite the project in the event of the NHS falling short of money.
“This project passed all the tests for affordability, value for money and sustainability and has the full support of the new Clinical Commissioning Group,”
said Peter Corfield, chairman of the League of Friends.
“Unlike many other NHS projects, the Ludlow Health Facility is not a Private Finance Initiative – the NHS will lease the building from the developer and the lease costs have had to be compared with and will be better value than using a capital grant from central government.
“Ludlow will retain cleaning, catering, porters and other staff within the NHS whilst building and ground maintenance will be the responsibility of the developer.”
The hospital and health village that will include two GP surgeries was approved by the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority last summer with work expected to start almost immediately.
However, changes in the Health and Social Care Bill caused private sector partners involved in NHS schemes like Ludlow to seek reassurances that are still not forthcoming.