Harborough 'New' Hospital - Just When will it Start!

July 15, 2013 1:54 PM
Phil Knowles at Hospital

Cllr Phil Knowles

Harborough Health Campaigner Cllr Phil Knowles has described the latest uncertainty on start dates of Harborough 'New' Hospital as deeply concerning. With the latest deadline of April 22nd already missed the new authorities seem reluctant to commit to a start date.

Late last week Phil Knowles met with Dr Dave Briggs to underline community concerns and to try to get some additional information on the matter. Commenting following the meeting Phil Knowles said:-

''There can be no question about Dr Briggs commitment and wish to deliver this scheme but equally there is no question that the latest delay is one delay too many for the people of Harborough. The submission of the 'old style' business case by the Consortium seems not to have met the requirements of the outgoing Strategic Health Authority, they asked for some changes. By the time it was ready for re-submission the SHA had drifted into non existence. When the new bodies came on line, NHS England and NHS Properties, they would not accept the re-submitted business plan asking for the drafting to be in what has been described as a different style.

"The refreshed plan has now been submitted by the Clinical Commissioning Group , shortly after June 25th I believe and now the process starts again. Firstly the refreshed draft must be reviewed. Any changes to the draft would then need to be readdressed. If it's OK then it has to be pushed into the formal decision process which has numerous hoops. Only when all of this is completed could the final approval and sign off be given.

"A third party has speculated to me that this could be between two and six more months so we could be looking anything around 9 months hold up from the April 22nd date that was promised but as I say this is speculation. It could be more, it could be less - the NHS simply won't commit and that silence is a real worry. Afterall, we have had so many disappointments in the past we don't want any more. One thing is sure, I have campaigned on this for over 25 years and I won't stop until the doors are finally opened and the project completed''

Cllr Knowles is expected to meet again with Dr Dave Briggs in a couple of months to keep the matter under review and to push for an early conclusion. Phil Knowles has also offered to meet with bosses from both NHS England and Property at any time.