Hospitals: North East

Health written question – answered on 14th January 2014.

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Photo of Iain Wright Iain Wright Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent meetings his Department has had with representatives from the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust on financing for new hospital construction; what his Department's policy is on allowing such financing to proceed; and if he will make it his policy to implement the plan put forward by Lord Darzi of Denham regarding configuration of acute health care north of the Tees if funding for a new hospital cannot be secured.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The chief executive of the Trust, Alan Foster, and the Finance Director, Lynne Hodgson, met departmental officials in June last year to discuss progress with this scheme and officials are in regular contact with the Trust as part of the process of assessing the Trust's Outline Business Case. Meetings with Trust representatives are ongoing, most recently on 9 January this year.

The Trust has submitted an Outline Business Case to the Department for a private finance funded scheme under HM Treasury's new ‘Private Finance 2’ procurement model (launched in 2012, this is the replacement for the Private Finance Initiative). The Trust is also seeking a public capital contribution. Departmental officials and Monitor are now reviewing the financial plans to establish whether the Trust has demonstrated robustly that it can afford its proposed scheme. Monitor's conclusions will inform the Department's consideration.

The reconfiguration of health services is a matter for the national health service locally. The Momentum: “pathways to healthcare” reconfiguration programme, which includes proposals for changes to services at the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, has been developed locally by the Trust, in liaison with local commissioners, to implement the recommendations made by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel in 2006. The local NHS continues to work on plans to progress the Momentum programme.

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