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18th Jan, 2022

Health chiefs claim Worcestershire Royal Hospital's multi-million pound expansion will go ahead despite judicial review

Rob George 12th Nov, 2021

HEALTH chiefs have vowed the multi-million pound expansion of the Worcestershire Royal Hospital will proceed as planned despite the scheme being called in for a judicial review.

The multi-million-pound work would see the relocation of the A&E department at the county’s main hospital and the creation of a new ‘emergency village’ on the site.

Under the plans, part funded by £15million of Government money, a single-storey extension will be added to the side of the hospital’s Aconbury East ward which will house its new urgent and emergency care facilities.

A dedicated children’s A&E department will also be built as part of the proposals.

Worcester City Council approved the plans in September but the scheme has now attracted the attention of the courts after it was approved by officers without debate, something which wasn’t permitted.

A judicial review is a form of court case in which someone challenges the lawfulness of a government or public body decision.

The decision could be declared unlawful and even quashed by the courts which may mean a decision has to be made by council planners again.

While the Observer understands neither the council nor the Trust will resist the review, the application has been resubmitted for consideration by Worcester’s planning chiefs.

Matthew Hopkins, chief executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said: “The development of our new expanded and improved urgent and emergency care unit at Worcestershire Royal Hospital is continuing as planned, with the first patients due to be treated there by the end of 2022.

“The new unit is a crucial part of the work being done, in our Trust and across our local health and care system, to improve patient experience and outcomes, reduce waiting times and ensure that our patients get the right care in the right place at the right time.

“We have been notified by the council that due to a procedural issue our application for planning permission has to be formally reconsidered by the planning committee.

“We remain focussed on delivering this important development for the benefit of our patients and our staff.”

A City Council spokesperson said: “We cannot comment on the judicial review as it an active legal process.

“The new application from Worcestershire Royal Hospital will be brought before the planning committee at the earliest opportunity.”

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