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Phil Knowles on the new St Luke's hospital: Is it finally progressing?

June 20, 2014 10:21 PM

News that NHS Property Services Ltd has appointed the contractor to build Harborough's new hospital has been warmly welcomed by a local health campaigner.


But, he says, the very wording of the press release that has been sent out by NHS bosses heralding the agreement with Morgan Sindall of Birmingham as the contractor worryingly raises yet more questions.

Cllr Phil Knowles says: "When there are phrases included such as 'to progress the plans and build the new facility once final approval is given' and 'working with NHS Property Services to complete the final design and cost analysis in the business case for the project, which will then go to the boards of the local Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS England and NHS Property Services this autumn for final approval,' it could be argued that much of this scheme is still up in the air and open to uncertainty."

"For 'cost analysis' should we read value engineering or trying to reduce the cost commitment to the final scheme? How many more times are we going to be told that they are looking to complete final design or intending to seek final approval?"

Cllr Knowles continued: "When health bosses also include in their statements comments such as 'The people of Market Harborough have waited many years to see this new facility built and I'm sure there have been times when they thought it would never happen.' at least it shows they are at last understanding that the people of Harborough have had just about enough of the undelivered deadlines and broken promises.

"As for the description 'the St Luke's Hub'... Have the NHS bosses remembered that they promised that the name of the new hospital will be left to the people of Harborough to choose?"