Royal Hospital rebuilding in question

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Royal Liverpool University Hospital. Pic © Rept0n1x / Wikimedia Commons

Royal Liverpool University Hospital. Pic © Rept0n1x / Wikimedia Commons

Health minister Dan Poulter is to meet with local MPs amid fears that the Royal Liverpool Hospital rebuilding may be cancelled.

Riverside MP Louise Ellman requested the meeting, which the Health Minister had initially rejected, to confirm that plans for the £450million rebuilding will still go ahead.

City councilors are concerned the latest cabinet reshuffle will affect the project, which work is currently scheduled to start on by April 2013 and to be finished by Christmas 2016.

Mrs Ellman is concerned that cutbacks may mean the rebuilding will be scrapped, despite Mr. Poulter’s predecessor Simon Burn’s assuring her last July that world still go ahead.

Speaking to JMU Journalism, MP Ellman said: “I’m very keen to find out if the rebuilding will go ahead in the timescale previously agreed. We’re concerned because Mr Poulter hasn’t confirmed it yet.”

Royal chief executive Aidan Kehoe has said that he still believes they will have approval for the rebuilding “by the end of the year” as they are working with the Department of Health and Treasury as they review the business case.

He said: “The draft appointment business case for the new Royal has been approved by commissioners of local health services NHS Merseyside and NHS North of England.

“The new Royal is widely supported by our patients, staff, local people, local MPs, Liverpool City Council and local business leaders. The new Royal will provide us with a modern hospital environment along with a state of the art health and life sciences campus that will put Liverpool on the world stage for Life Sciences.”

Mrs Ellman hopes that the rebuilding will go ahead; to go alongside the £28million BioInnovation Centre also scheduled to be built. “The rebuilding needs to be finished to help with the regeneration of Liverpool. It’s been under discussion for many years now and there has been a constant reassessment of finance so we just want reassurance that it will go ahead.”

Louise Ellman and many of the city’s MPs are set to meet with the Health Minister in London on 12th December to discuss the Royal’s future.

About Emma Callum, JMU Journalism