Consett Liberal Democrats are calling on the Conservative Government to fully fund the building of a new hospital to replace Shotley Bridge Community Hospital.
This comes after local health chiefs presented a report at Durham County Council’s adult health committee, stating that construction cost inflation has meant that the project is £20 million ahead of forecasted budget. Local health officials have been tasked with reconfiguring the new site to make the project more affordable. This includes a greater reliance on virtual consultations rather than face-to-face appointments on site, and a reduction in the provision of chemotherapy.
Dominic Haney, Liberal Democrat councillor for Consett, Moorside and The Grove, said: “The new community hospital risks being a failure on a Titanic scale if the Government doesn’t get out the chequebook and properly fund it."
"Health chiefs have been tasked with reconfiguring the new hospital’s layout to bring costs down, but no amount of rearranging the deckchairs is going to stop the project being sunk," Dominic added.
"As construction costs continue to soar, the longer the delays, the greater the chance the new hospital never sees the light of day. The last thing local residents want is a hospital done on the cheap, potentially meaning that a lack of space means many consultations end up being online rather than in the hospital itself," he said.
“Most shocking of all is a potential reduction in planned chemotherapy treatments at the new hospital. Consett can afford no more Conservative failures. They promised us a new hospital and they must put their money where their mouths are,” he concluded.
We, the undersigned, demand that the Conservative government keeps its promise to Consett and funds the full redevelopment promised for Shotley Bridge Hospital.