Health chiefs are staying tight-lipped on the future of plans for a major expansion of a North East hospital.

A proposed £190m wing at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI), which would house a number of the hospital’s specialist services, missed out on funding last week as the Government confirmed it will pay to rebuild five other sites in major need of repairs.

City hospital bosses had launched a bid in 2021 to secure funding for the RVI extension, which has also been referred to as the New Specialist Hospital, from the Department for Health’s New Hospital Programme.

But, after failing to make the latest list of successful applications last week, the future of the project is unclear.

When asked by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust said it was unable to provide any update on whether the Richardson Wing proposal was still being pursued or whether other funding sources would be sought.

The new wing would be located next to the existing Leazes Wing on Richardson Road and would be home to services including adult critical care, burn wards, cystic fibrosis treatment, the North East Assisted Ventilation Service, and some maternity services.

A section of the trust’s website promoting the plans states: “At the moment the services are provided from a range of older buildings that cost a lot to maintain. Some of the facilities need to be replaced, refurbished or upgraded urgently, because they don’t meet the standards we expect.

"Continued investment in our buildings and facilities is a key component of the delivery of safe, high-quality care. By investing in the new specialist hospital building the trust can treat patients with specialist and complex conditions in a purpose-built building that meets their needs.”

While funding for the Richardson Wing has not been secured, Newcastle City Council has already granted planning permission for the project to go ahead – if health officials can find the cash to build it.

The Government has pledged to build 40 new hospitals by 2030, though health secretary Steve Barclay admitted last weekend that some of those will actually be refurbishments of existing sites rather than entirely new hospitals.

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Five hospitals deemed at risk of collapse due to deteriorating concrete infrastructure were added to the Department of Health’s programme last week – Airedale in West Yorkshire, Queen Elizabeth King’s Lynn in Norfolk, Hinchingbrooke in Cambridgeshire, Mid Cheshire Leighton in Cheshire and Frimley Park in Surrey. 

But also among those missing out was the University Hospital of North Tees, where there are plans for a £380m rebuild of facilities deemed unfit for purpose.

The Government has said that details of future funding for trusts who had applied to the New Hospital Programme would be “set out in due course”.