Shropshire MPs have joined forces to write a letter to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, seeking reassurance that £6m funding for the next stage of preparing a detailed business case for Shropshire and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust's Future Fit Programme will be forthcoming.
Extract of letter from Shropshire MPs to Matt Hancock dated 15 October 2020:
We are writing to express our dismay at lack of progress since March 2018. The current earliest date for breaking ground we are advised is now 2022. This delay has led to a significant increase in capital required to fund the project using HM Treasury’s required Green Book inflation index for public projects.
We understand that this will require appropriate approvals which we urge should be forthcoming as soon as possible. The immediate cause for concern and request for your assistance is the need for DHSC to approve the request by SATH, which we understand is supported by NHSE/I for some £6m funding for the next stage detailed work to complete the business case. We understand this would cover instructing architects, drawing up contract specifications, tenders etc. This funding is part of normal NHS phased spending for capital projects of this scale. We are concerned that this funding element is not released, and was not included as part of the significant package of capital allocations announced by you with the Prime Minister recently to meet the manifesto pledge of 40 new hospitals.
While we appreciate you, your Ministerial team and all your officials are bearing the brunt of the national response to the global pandemic, we ask if you would kindly expedite release of this funding, so that this vital component towards resolving the long-standing challenges faced by SATH can start to be progressed. This would be a powerful demonstration of the ability of this Government to deliver for the people of Shropshire and Telford