Clock ticking on Midland Metropolitan Hospital re-start
An NHS trust is still waiting for final approval for work to re-start on a partially-built hospital, despite its boss previously saying the green light was "certainly needed by the end of August".
The clock is ticking on the future of the Midland Metropolitan Hospital, with health chiefs desperate to avoid further delays on the £475m project already scheduled to be completed three years late.
Balfour Beatty has been lined up for months to take over building work.
It stalled following the collapse of Carillion last year and Government red tape holding up the project has caused frustration for Sandwell NHS bosses.
The board of the Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, which will run the new hospital, will meet next week to discuss where the Midland Met stands.
Chief executive Toby Lewis said: “The board will discuss next week progress being made with Government on approval of the Final Business Case to approve Balfour Beatty as our completion contractor.
"By then we would expect that the matter will rest as a final stage with the Treasury, having benefitted from NHS Improvement approval.”
Mr Lewis told the Express & Star last month that final approval was "certainly" needed by the end of the August, adding he was "troubled" by the delay.
Bosses have been particularly frustrated by the hold up, given the fact the £358 million business case approved by the Treasury last December was consistent with the final bid sent off for approval.
Mr Lewis said in July: "Local people have been waiting a long time for a new hospital and we're all determined to get Midland Met open before the Commonwealth Games.
"The approval we need ideally in July but certainly by the end of August. We're running behind with those approvals.
"We are troubled by the fact that it taking longer than we had been told it would to get this business case formally approved."
No fresh work has been done on the hospital since the collapse of original builder Carillion in January 2018.
Balfour Beatty has been carrying out early works over the last few months. The Midland Met is due to open in 2022, three years later than planned.