Prequalification has started for the £353 million Midlands Metropolitan Hospital in Smethwick following government approval for the Private Finance 2 (PF2) project.
Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trustare undertaking the selection process for a project that will create 500 construction jobs.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne revealed that the project will be funded by both the public and private sector through PF2 deal, with a £100M contribution from the taxpayer.
The business case timetable requires the Trust to select a preferred construction partner by early autumn 2015. Building work will commence in spring 2016 and the hospital could open its doors to patients in 2018/19.
Once complete the new 670 bed hospital, likely to be seven storeys high, will bring together acute services on to one site and substantially replace emergency services currently provided at both City and Sandwell Hospitals.
The hospital will feature around 80,600m2 of hospital space and is expected to provide capacity for approximately 81,455 inpatients and 115,045 outpatients every year.
Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust chairman Richard Samuda said: “We are delighted to have received approval from the Secretary of State to proceed with the new hospital in Smethwick.
“This is a decisive moment. It is a huge vote of confidence in the Trust’s longstanding plan to transfer acute care onto a single site and to move care closer to home. It’s also a very exciting decision for staff and local people as it signals another important initiative in the ongoing regeneration of Sandwell,” he added.
The Chancellor said: “This ambitious package will ensure that patients across the West Midlands continue to benefit from access to world class acute treatment and cutting edge facilities.”
The invitation to tender will be advertised through the Official Journal of the European Union, with pre-qualification questionnaires having been placed yesterday.