Byrne and Ward call for new health campus for East Birmingham and Solihull

Liam Byrne MP

(Asian independent) Liam Byrne MP, co-chair of Birmingham’s Inclusive Growth Board, and Cllr Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, today threw their weight behind proposals for a new NHS health and diagnostics campus in Arden Cross to help the NHS to recover after Covid and drive down waiting lists which have soared in Birmingham and Solihull.

Byrne and Ward will argue that the Government should back the plan as part of its promised investment to create forty new hospitals across the country and level up the West Midlands’ most deprived communities.

The proposal will form part of transformational new gateway for East Birmingham and north Solihull to include:

· A new push for the £1 billion East Birmingham Metro line, connecting Birmingham’s poorest communities to the airport, the new HS2 stations, NEC and the city centre.

· Three thousand new homes, including key worker housing at the NEC site.

· An intensive skills and retraining programme for local residents to access new jobs including NHS jobs.

Byrne has teamed up with Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham to convene the NHS, Transport for the West Midlands, and the Department for Work and Pensions. Birmingham City Council will now develop a business case to make the investment argument to government.

The first phase of the NHS campus which could one day house state-of-the-art Ambulatory Care which offers same day emergency care to patients without overnight stays, plus a headquarters for new health services delivered digitally along with extra NHS capacity to help drive down waiting lists which have spiralled upwards during the Covid crisis.

Liam Byrne said:

‘Our NHS has worked miracles during Covid, but the crisis means waiting lists have soared. The government has promised extra hospitals, so I say today: let’s have a new hospital for east Birmingham and Solihull.

‘This has to be part of a radical new gateway for the east of the City, connecting up communities with new metro lines, retraining thousands of people for local jobs, and building thousands of more homes for local residents and key workers. If the government is serious about levelling up, they should back this ambitious plan in an instant.

‘It’s time we got our fair share for the West Midlands and this is an easy decision for the government to make.’

Ian Ward said:

’Covid-19 has had a huge impact on our hospitals here in Birmingham and the knock-on effect will continue long into the future, with extended waiting times for treatment, which will exacerbate existing health inequalities.

‘That’s why as we begin to recover from the pandemic it is crucial that the Government commits to providing the resources that the NHS needs in our region.

‘I join my Labour colleagues in calling on the Government to choose Arden Cross as the location for a new hospital, giving the people of the West Midlands the access to healthcare that we will need in the coming years.’

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