Brighton and Hove City Council calls for Government to release Royal Sussex hospital development cash (From The Argus)
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Brighton and Hove City Council calls for Government to release Royal Sussex hospital development cash
Delays to the long-awaited redevelopment of the Royal Sussex County Hospital will be discussed today.
Brighton and Hove City Council is being urged to contact the Prime Minister and Health Secretary amid growing concerns about the future of the £420 million project.
The ambitious plans for the hospital in Brighton will be carried out in three phases and are expected to create hundreds of jobs during and after construction.
It will involve the demolition and replacement of the ageing Barry and Jubilee buildings, which are almost 190 years old, with a purpose built 12 storey building.
There will also be an expanded cancer and neurosciences centre and an underground car park.
The existing Thomas Kemp Tower will have a helicopter pad added so critically ill patients are treated more quickly.
There will also be a roof garden and hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of transport improvements.
Planning permission was granted by the city council in January 2012 but Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust is still waiting for approval from the Treasury and Department of Health to release funding for the project.
A notice of motion, proposed by leader of the Labour Group in the city Warren Morgan, will be discussed at a full city council meeting today.
It says: “This council believes that the provision of modern NHS facilities is essential for this city.
“This council requests the chief executive to write to the Prime Minister David Cameron and the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and call on the Government to release the funding already earmarked in the NHS capital spending budget for the '3Ts' redevelopment at the Royal Sussex County Hospital without further delay.”
Coun Morgan said: “In the two years since the council granted planning permission and called for the funding to be released, the Government has asked for the bid to be resubmitted no less than 20 times.
“Despite ministerial visits and Cabinet ministers saying it is “when not if” we are still waiting, and patients are still being treated in wards built before Florence Nightingale started nursing.”
Conservative MP Simon Kirby, who has been campaigning for the finances to be secured and the project to go ahead, said funding had not already been earmarked for the project.
He said: “It is right that the business case for the hospital redevelopment is properly scrutinised, to ensure value for taxpayers' money.”
The Treasury and the Department of Health say the project is still being considered and a decision would be made in due course.
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