A decision on a long-awaited hospital redevelopment is expected “in the near future”, according to a Government health minister.
Dan Poulter who has made the claim was responding to a written Parliamentary question from Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas about the £420 million plans for the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.
The ambitious proposals involve the demolition of the ageing Barry and Jubilee buildings, which are almost 190 years old, and replacing them with a purpose-built 12 storey development.
The older buildings are cramped, expensive to maintain and are no longer suitable for 21st century care.
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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 can be brought in by air ambulance and treated more quickly.
The redevelopment also includes proposals for a roof garden and there will be hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of transport improvements.
The work would be carried out in three phases and is expected to create hundreds of jobs during and after construction.
Planning permission for the scheme was granted by Brighton and Hove City Council in January 2012.
However Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, is still waiting for formal approval for the project from the Treasury and Department of Health so funding can be released for it.
Ms Lucas’s question asked what progress had been made with the review of the outline business case since the issue was last raised in February.
In his response, Dr Poulter said: “The outline business case for the redevelopment of the Royal Sussex is being considered by the department, the NHS Trust Development Authority and HM Treasury.
“This review is at an advanced stage and a decision is expected in the near future.”
The continuing wait for approval was highlighted at the last full city council meeting.