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Page last updated at 12:47 GMT, Friday, 1 October 2010 13:47 UK
Public urged to vote on name for new Black Country hospital
Sandwell Hospital
The new hospital will replace Sandwell Hospital in West Bromwich

As the building of a new hospital in the Black Country takes another step towards reality, people in the region are being asked to vote on its name.

The go-ahead for a new hospital in Smethwick was given by the government in the summer of 2009 with the proviso that a further outline business case (OBC) be submitted a year later.

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust is now preparing that plan.

Now the project is set for its next stage, a name has become a priority.

Building cost reduction

The new hospital will replace the City and Sandwell hospitals at a cost of £370m - over £100m lower than first expected.

"The new hospital is starting to feel much closer now," Trust Chair Sue Davis said.

Ozzy Osbourne
Ozzy Osbourne has thrown his support behind the naming campaign

"We have bought a third of the land and once we have secured approval from the Department of Health and the Treasury, we can start looking for a partner to build it with," she added.

The updated plans reveal that the cost of the project has fallen due to low inflation and the reduction in construction costs.

"The existing hospital buildings are in dire need of replacement," Sue Davis continued.

"This stage has come not a moment too soon for the people living in Sandwell and the heart of Birmingham who deserve the best possible care provided from the best possible facilities."

What's in a name?

A hugely important part of the new hospital will be its name and members of the public have been asked to vote on four options after the initial list of suggestions was whittled down from 682 potential names.

Local celebrities have been championing their favourites ahead of the closing date on 6 October.

The contenders are:

Rustie Lee
Rustie Lee wants the new hospital to be named after the road it will be on

THE MIDLANDS METROPOLITAN HOSPITAL - supported by legendary Black Sabbath rocker Ozzy Osbourne.

"The Midland Metropolitan Hospital does the job. I can see people calling it 'The Met' which has a certain ring to it."

THE BIRMINGHAM AND BLACK COUNTRY HOSPITAL - backed by TV presenter and West Bromwich Albion fan Adrian Chiles.

"The Birmingham and Black Country Hospital is a straightforward name - no nonsense and as honest as the people it will serve.

GROVE LANE HOSPITAL - championed by TV chef Rustie Lee.

"I am so honoured to be taking part in something that will shape Birmingham's future. People still call City Hospital Dudley Road Hospital because of where it is. The new hospital will be in Grove Lane so this is the name that makes the most sense."

JAMES BRINDLEY HOSPITAL - supported by soul singer Ruby Turner.

"We have so many canals here in Birmingham and this new site is next to a canal designed by James Brindley so the name is more than suited for the hospital. It will mean future generations can look back and recognise what Mr Brindley contributed to this great city."

It is hoped that the 670-bed hospital will be open in 2016.


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