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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

£650M project unveiled by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Government 'remains committed' to project

The full cost of new hospital buildings in the city is expected to be known when the project moves to its next phase, NHS bosses have said.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust hopes to draw up detailed designs and appoint a building contractor for the scheme, expected to cost more than £650m.

A new adults’ hospital, a children’s hospital and maternity centre will be open by 2030 at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) if the scheme goes to plan.

The trust said it would press ahead with the development after the government publishes standardised design principles for new NHS buildings under a plan known as Hospital 2.0.

Simon Worthington. Leeds NHS Trust Director of Finance. Image: Leeds NHS Trust

Simon Worthington, the trust’s finance director, said: “We have been told these principles will be published by the New Hospitals Programme in May 2024.

“Our current hospital designs have already incorporated many of these principles however, once they are published, we will assess if any further alignment is required to our current plans, and would expect our plans to make significant progress following this and achieve the government’s 2030 timeline.”

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said it had already provided £27m in development costs for the scheme.

Mr Worthington said progress had been made in clearing the construction site at LGI. He added: “We will not know the final cost for the hospitals until the design principles have been finalised and our business case has been approved.”

A report to the trust’s last board meeting warned that delays to the project and changes to the existing design could lead to rising costs.

The progress report said: “Continuing delays to the delivery of the programme will present a significant financial and operating risk.”

But the DHSC said the project would receive full funding.

A DHSC spokesperson said: “We remain committed to the new hospital schemes for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust by 2030 as part of our New Hospitals Programme

“We are working closely with the trust to ensure plans are deliverable and use standardised designs to streamline approvals and speed up construction, helping to reduce the time and cost of delivering this important project, aligned with our national approach.”

The DHSC said the full cost would be published as part of a Full Business Case report from the trust.

In January it emerged that a £27m upgrade of Chapel Allerton Hospital had been shelved after government funding was withdrawn.

The scheme would have created a new centre for planned surgery at the hospital, easing pressure on other NHS services in the city.

The DHSC spokesperson said: “The business case for the Chapel Allerton Hospital Elective Surgical Hub was not approved due to challenges with delivery during the funding timeline.”

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