Page last updated at 11:41 GMT, Thursday, 14 May 2009 12:41 UK

Cash setback for hospital scheme

Plans for a £30m community hospital in Shropshire have suffered a setback after the Department of Health (DoH) said it was unlikely to pay for it.

The DoH advised West Midlands Strategic Health Authority (SHA) that it supported a new hospital at Eco Park, Ludlow, but was unlikely to fund it.

A hospital exists in Gravel Hill, Ludlow, but plans for a new hospital were submitted earlier this month.

The Primary Care Trust said it would now look at other options to fund it.

In a letter to the PCT, the SHA said that its "support goes beyond encouragement from the sidelines" and that it would help them to find further funding.

'Remain committed'

The PCT said it would try to secure a third party developer for the project, as well as looking at other options including co-funding the hospital with another public body.

Jo Chambers, the PCT chief executive for Shropshire, said they were "disappointed" by the news.

She said: "We remain committed to developing services in south west Shropshire, including redeveloping Ludlow Hospital, and our priority now is to explore other funding possibilities."

Peter Corfield, chairman of the League of Friends of Ludlow Hospital, added: "We are disappointed that we have not yet got the go-ahead that we had expected, but we remain determined to ensure that Ludlow and south west Shropshire gets the healthcare facilities that we have worked so hard to improve."

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