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Walsgrave Site Chosen For Superhospital

Coventry’s new super hospital will be at Walsgrave and it could be open for business in 2005.

The Walsgrave Hospital Trust heard officially this morning that it had won its battle against Coventry City Council and the Community Health Council, who both wanted the new hospital in the city centre.

After months of in-fighting between the two factions Health Minister John Denham acted as referee and in a faxed letter to Community Health today he decreed that Walsgrave was the best place for the new hospital.

In a joint media conference the rivals immediately pledged to work together and the vast City Council machine will now swing behind the Walsgrave option.

Cllr John Fletcher, leader of the council, said:

"I am bitterly disappointed. We have missed a massive opportunity to regenerate the city centre area around the present Coventry & Warwickshire site."

The Minister’s letter stated:

"My decision must be in the best interests of the patients. I concluded that I could not justify instructing the health service in Coventry to spend at least 1.8 million extra each year on the cost of a new hospital when this money could be used to care for and treat patients."

Cllr Fletcher said:

"Throughout the debate the City Council’s stance remained clear and consistent: new hospital first, location second, but always with a clear preference for the city centre.

"However in the meantime we do accept that the award of a medical school development to Coventry and the recent allocation of many millions of pounds for new cancer equipment have all added cost and complexity to the possibility of siting the hospital in the city centre.

"The council will now hold true to its commitment. The Health Minister has made his decision and the council will do all it can to deliver Coventry’s new hospital on the redeveloped Walsgrave site."

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CWN / Health / Coventry Health Authority / 15 Oct 99

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM