Monday, 16 July 2018

Hospital rebuild is ‘top priority’

THE redevelopment of Townlands Hospital in Henley is a “top priority” for NHS officials, according to the Government.

THE redevelopment of Townlands Hospital in Henley is a “top priority” for NHS officials, according to the Government.

Henley MP John Howell wrote to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt after fears were raised over the funding of the scheme by insurance company Aviva.

The firm fears its £7million investment could be devalued by the abolition of primary care trusts because the loan would no longer be guaranteed by the Treasury.

The company and the Department of Health have held talks but so far have not agreed a solution.

Mr Howell asked Mr Hunt to “bring Townlands to fruition” and urged an intervention which would give a specific guarantee.

Earl Howe, parliamentary under secretary of state for quality, replied: “Please rest assured that this is a top priority for officials and that the importance of this development to the people of Henley is understood, as is the eagerness for this scheme to proceed.”

Mr Howell said he was “very happy” that officials were trying to be helpful.

Planning permission for the £8.7million “health campus” was granted in November. Building work was supposed to start last month and be finished next year.

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