THE Government has refused to confirm when the decision for a huge new hospital building programme will be made.

Warrington and Halton hospitals have submitted a joint bid for new facilities to serve the wider area as part of the New Hospital Programme.

Through the scheme, hospital trusts from across the country were invited to bid to be one of eight new sites to be built as part of the multimillion-pound scheme.

It is believed that a new Warrington Hospital would cost around £317million, while the project to rebuild Halton Hospital would require around £93million.

Warrington and Halton submitted its bid in September, with the Government stating that a decision was due in spring this year, however we are now into the summer with no outcome being revealed.

With the current uncertainty over the leadership of the Government, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson due to step down in the autumn, there are fears that the new hospital decision could be delayed further.

We asked the Department of Health and Care for an update on the programme and when the decision would be announced – but we failed to get a straight answer.

A spokesman said: “We will deliver 40 new hospitals by 2030.

Warrington Hospital

Warrington Hospital

“Together with eight existing schemes, this will mean 48 hospitals delivered by the end of the decade, with six currently under construction and one now complete.

“We are working closely with NHS trusts in the programme on the development of their building plans.

“Each of the building projects will be new hospitals providing brand new, state-of-the-art facilities to ensure world-class provision of healthcare for NHS patients and staff by replacing outdated infrastructure.”

There has long been a desire for new hospital facilities in Warrington and Halton, with more than 1,500 residents signing a petition sent to Parliament by Runcorn MP Mike Amesbury.

When the bid was submitted, Simon Constable, chief executive of Warrington and Halton hospitals, said: “We have continuously spoken with residents in both communities.

“The bid reflects the current and future needs and requirements of residents, patients and staff, but we need strong and vocal support for the bid.

“Our bid will be one of many submitted to become one of only eight new hospitals to be built under the New Hospital Programme, and competition will be fierce.

“We have been talking about new hospitals in Halton and Warrington for nearly five years, but now is the time to make that effort a reality.”