A BID for a new £40 million state-of-the-art Halton Hospital has been submitted again, after two knock backs from the government.

Ambitious plans for a health and wellbeing campus at Halton Lea were put on hold in March when the site was not chosen as one of the 40 hospitals in the country to receive extra money from NHS England.

The funding could transform the existing Halton Hospital into an integrated care campus, complete with a gym and a swimming pool alongside existing care facilities.

The campus, which included plans for a nursery and care home to be built side by side, was at the forefront of Halton’s Healthy New Town project - a government initiative designed to improve the health and wellbeing of communities through development and regeneration.

Halton was one of only 10 sites chosen by NHS England in the UK to trial the New Town project, specifically because of the high levels of health deprivation in some areas of the borough.

Halton Lea, where the campus would be located, falls within the top one per cent of most deprived areas nationally.

The hospital has confirmed that they are not giving up on their radical plans for a new model of care and submitted the bid for the third time at the end of May.

Hospital bosses expect to hear back on whether this bid has been successful in the autumn statement.

Runcorn MP Mike Amesbury and Halton MP Derek Twigg met with Stephen Barclay, junior minister of state for health and social care in Parliament, last week to press the case.

Mel Pickup, chief executive of Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Fuondation Trust, said: “We resubmitted our bid for the third time at the end of May and are expecting to hear from NHS England whether it is successful this time in the autumn statement. 

“We have been overwhelmed by the level of support shown for the project, from our patients and local communities, healthcare professionals across our region, voluntary sector colleagues and our local councillors and MPs, all of whom have been crucial in forming our plans.

“As the only healthy new town demonstrator site with a hospital site at its  heart, we truly believe that the plan to develop Halton Hospital and Wellbeing Campus is a unique and exciting opportunity that will do much to improve the current health outcomes for our population, as well as implement a number of important strategic goals for the NHS.”

A new, detailed summary of the plans states that benefits of the new hospital would include a reduction in the cost of health and social care in Halton by five per cent and  the realisation of £103 million in savings and benefits over the next 40 years.

Other features of the new hospital include a rehabilitation unit, allotment space, walk paths and community centres,

Ms Pickup said the purpose of the campus was to provide an integrated model of health and social care that focuses on patients living longer, healthier, more independent lives.

It is hoped that by offering out of hospital alternatives to care, pressure and bed shortages facing acute wards would ease.