Law firm helps on pioneering £464m hospital | 30 March 10

LAW firm Ward Hadaway has played a key role on a pioneering £464m new hospital that is set to become a model for 21st century healthcare.

Health Secretary Andy Burnham announces approval of the momentum project

The project on Teesside was given the go-ahead by Health Secretary Andy Burnham (above) this month.

The £464m project will see the creation of a 568 bed hospital on land at Wynyard Park, near Hartlepool, to replace existing facilities in Stockton and Hartlepool.

It will be the most energy-efficient hospital ever built in the UK and will be the first in the country to offer all patients single en-suite rooms.

It will be complemented by three new integrated health centres in Billingham, Hartlepool and Stockton, providing GP facilities and a range of tests, scans and treatments.

Ward Hadaway has advised North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust on a wide range of issues associated with the project for the last three years.

Experts from the law firm’s specialist public sector team have assisted at every stage of the project, from the initial business case to securing property acquisitions, planning agreements and negotiating with the Department of Health.

Members of Ward Hadaway’s property, planning and construction teams also worked on the scheme.

Melanie Pears, partner and head of public sector at Ward Hadaway, led the firm’s dedicated team on the project.

Melanie said: “This is truly wonderful news for everyone who has been involved in this project and, most importantly, for the people of the area who will see their health services transformed over the coming years.

“This is a genuinely ground-breaking scheme which has involved an enormous amount of hard work, dedication and perseverance from everyone who has taken part in it.

“Over the years in which we have been involved in the momentum: pathways to healthcare programme, we have built up a very close working relationship with our colleagues at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and with all the stakeholders on the project so it is a great feeling to know that the vision behind the scheme will soon become a reality.”

The new hospital will be the largest construction project to take place in the North-East. Work is expected to start in 2012 with the new hospital being opened in 2015.

As well as breaking new ground in terms of energy efficiency and quality of accommodation, the new hospital will also be the first major capital development to be built outside the PFI system in 20 years.

As well as investing in new buildings, the Momentum project will also see around £10m ploughed into improving transport links to the new hospital.

Director of operations for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust Kevin Oxley said: “With a scheme of this size and complexity, good legal advice and support is essential. Ward Hadaway, and Melanie in particular, have become an vital part of the hospital project team.

“The new hospital, complemented by a network of integrated care centres to serve the population of Hartlepool, Stockton and parts of Easington and Sedgefield, is transforming the way health care is provided across our area.

“We’re pleased and delighted to be working with some excellent partners like Ward Hadaway who are helping us to create the facilities local people need and deserve.”

The momentum: Pathways to healthcare programme has received particular praise from Health Secretary Andy Burnham for its willingness to look at new ways of delivering healthcare services.

When he announced the approval of the momentum: Pathways to healthcare programme, Mr Burnham said: “Health services cannot stand still. In all parts of the country the NHS will have to ask searching questions about the best way to provide healthcare in the future.

“Where people have had the courage to propose changes that will improve health services and make them safer, the government should back them up with the investment.”

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