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BREAKING NEWS: Revamped St Luke’s Hospital will not open until February 2016

A previous artist's impression of how the new St Luke's Hospital site could look in Harborough.

A previous artist's impression of how the new St Luke's Hospital site could look in Harborough.

The multi-million pound redevelopment of Harborough’s St Luke’s Hospital will not be completed until February 2016, health bosses admitted this afternoon (Thursday).

The delay was mentioned in a press release announcing the appointment of contractors to build the long-awaited new St Luke’s site in Leicester Road.

Birmingham-based Morgan Sindall Group will carry out the work, NHS bosses said.

NHS Property Services also referred to the new building project as an ‘Integrated Health Hub’ for the first time.

Health chiefs said Morgan Sindall had been appointed through an ‘established NHS contractors framework’ following a ‘robust procurement process’.

The company will now working with NHS Property Services to complete the final design and cost analysis for the project’s business case, it said.

But in yet another delay, it will still have to go the boards of the East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS England and NHS Property Services for final approval which is not expected until this autumn at the earliest.

Work is expected to start by early 2015 and it will not open until February 2016, the NHS said.

John Harness, local area team co-ordinator for NHS Property Services in Leicestershire, said: “I am very pleased that we have now appointed a contractor to help deliver this fantastic new hub.

“The people of Harborough have waited many years to see this new facility built and I’m sure there have been times when they thought it would never happen, but I can assure them that it is now happening.

“We have appointed an experienced contractor and once we have final approvals, we will be able to begin work on site to build this brand new, state-of-the-art health facility, where local people will be able to access a wide range of high quality health services in a safe, high-quality, fit-for-purpose environment.”

The new ‘hub’ will become home to a number of health services including those which are currently located at Harborough’s Cottage Hospital in Coventry Road.

These will include mental health services, GP services including minor injuries, radiography and ultrasound, an outpatients’ facilities for rehabilitation, speech and language, ear, nose and throat and ophthalmology and other specialist services.

In January, NHS England confirmed it had approved the funding needed to build the ‘hub’. Since then, NHS Property Services has been working with NHS England and East Leicestershire and the CCG to develop the detailed design and cost of the scheme.

Dr David Sharp, the area director for NHS England (Leicestershire), said: “I am delighted to see the appointment of Morgan Sindall as the preferred contractor to progress plans to the next stage.

“This is an important milestone in the lifespan of this project, and ensures we remain on target for the hospital development to open its doors to the people of Harborough in February 2016.”

A spokesperson for CCG said: “This is really positive news for Harborough and we will be working closely with NHS England and NHS Property Services to ensure that we keep people fully informed of progress with the hospital development over the coming weeks and months.”

Story by Alex Blackwell.

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