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NHS staff call on Government to allow Midland Metropolitan Hospital work to resume

By Richard Guttridge | Sandwell | Health | Published:

An NHS trust has turned up the heat on the Government over its delay on granting approval for work to resume on the £475 million Midland Metropolitan Hospital by rolling out staff to spell out the importance of getting the project moving.

The Midland Met

Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, which will run the partially-built Midland Met, posted a series of messages on its Twitter page under the banner ‘Get MMH done’, including one from a doctor who said “we’re world-class clinicians but we work in Victorian hospitals”.

Trust bosses have grown increasingly frustrated over recent months with the delay in getting final sign-off to allow Balfour Beatty to complete the job, which stalled when Carillion went bust nearly two years ago. It means Sandwell and Birmingham City hospitals, also run by the trust, have had to be kept open at full capacity for longer than anticipated.

They remain hopeful approval will finally come this month to enable work to re-start in December and keep the timetable for re-opening on target for before the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Several video messages from staff were posted by the trust.

Consultant cardiologist Dr Derek Connolly made a passionate plea to the Government.

He said: “We work here in Birmingham City Hospital, a hospital that was built in the time of Dickens. It’s got Florence Nightingale wards and corridors.

"We’re world-class clinicians but we work in Victorian hospitals.”

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“For the last 20 years we have been trying to build a new hospital. For the last three years we have been stopped at the point where the hospital isn’t finished.

“It’s good to build new hospitals around Britain and I support that, but please, please let’s get MMH done.”

Junior doctor Aly Makhani said patients would be safer once the Midland Met was opened.

He said: “Being able to access the right specialities, like diagnostics at the right time without having to transfer people over sites will be a massive help for patient care and patient safety and make sure they get better as quickly as they can.”

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Anger is building over the continued delays, with Warley MP John Spellar this week calling on the Government to “get out the file, get it signed and get this project moving”.

Health minister Edward Agar offered to hold a meeting with trust bosses and said he was “keen to get things moving” but did not confirm whether approval was close.

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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