Hopes revived for Teesside super-hospital

Artist's impression of new hospital
Image caption The seven-storey hospital was originally costed at £460m

Health bosses on Teesside have said a controversial super-hospital may still be built, despite public funding being axed by the coalition government.

Tax-payer support for the £460m 660-bed hospital at Wynyard Park, near Stockton, was axed by Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander last year.

But North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust plans to approach the private sector for funding.

Opponents say existing hospitals in Hartlepool and Stockton should stay.

The Teesside scheme, and 12 others nationwide, were scrapped in June 2010 as part of measures by the coalition government to save £2bn.

Operating theatres

But now trust bosses say they want to press ahead with a smaller scale project, which would cost about £300m.

Chief executive Alan Foster said the site would have smaller patient rooms, wards and operating theatres.

He said: "Funding would come from the banks in the UK and abroad and we have also been talking to the European Investment Bank.

"There is still a lot of work to do and we will be looking to get the best financial option for the trust going forward."

Mr Foster said a new hospital would be more cost-effective than refurbishing the existing University Hospital of Hartlepool and North Tees Hospital in Stockton.

But Keith Fisher, from the Save Our Hospital campaign in Hartlepool, said: "The reality has always been that people in Hartlepool and south east Durham do not want a new hospital in Wynyard.

"I find it hard to believe that the two existing hospitals cannot be maintained for the amount of money they are proposing to spend on a new build."

The trust is expected to discuss possible new funding options at a meeting later this month.

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