New hope for Ludlow hospital as MP visits the Department of Health

First published in Ludlow

FINGERS are being crossed in the hope that an obstacle to the new Ludlow Hospital and health village has been cleared.

As the Advertiser went to press Ludlow MP Philip Dunne was meeting with Dan Poulter, a minister at the Department of Health.

He is hoping to come away with a commitment that will give the assurance that the private sector funder, putting up the money for the project, needs before releasing the funds.

Under new legislation there is only a promise that the Government ‘may’ step in if the local NHS were to run out of money and fail to fulfil its repayment agreement.

But the private sector partner says it wants a copper- bottomed guarantee.

The problem following new le gislation is not believed to be specific to Ludlow Hospital and other projects are believed to caught up in a similar trap.

But this is at the heart of the issue because if Ludlow is made a special case then the concern of Government is that this would set a dangerous precedent.

Work on the hospital site was originally due to begin last summer but this was put back to the autumn.

However, it was only when questions started to be asked that health chiefs came clean that there was a problem.

It is not clear what will happen if the Government fails to come up with the necessary assurances.

Even if the matter is resolved quickly hopes of a completion of the hospital and health facilities, that includes two new doctors surgeries, in 2014 as promised is looking increasingly unlikely.

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