Cash blow for Colne NHS centre hopes as project halted

Posted on August 27, 2009. Filed under: News stories |

Lancashire Telegraph | By Peter Magill | 26 August 2009

A HALT has been called on a new health centre project for Pendle amid a financial crisis in the NHS.

Bosses at East Lancashire Primary Care Trust have confirmed that progress on the proposed replacement Colne Health Centre, on the former Kwik Save site in Craddock Road, has been ‘paused’.

Health chiefs are blaming the delay on financial uncertainties within the health service, with trust financiers unable to make accurate predictions about future spending allocations.

Last April, a deal for the old supermarket land, near to the town’s police station, was sealed with developer St Modwen’s.

The centre would replace the existing facility in Market Street, which has outgrown the current building.

Trust finance director Chris Dixon confirmed that all new developments had been deferred by board members.

He said this was “because of the worsening financial outlook for the NHS and the need for a review of financial timescales and commitments.

“An update of the position will be discussed at the September board meeting.

“But it is more likely decisions will not be made until later this calendar year or early next year when we know more precisely what financial allocations are going to be, and what commitments or initiatives the Government sets out in its operating framework for future years.”

Mr Dixon reported to the board in June that the NHS faced “severe contractions” in its finances from 2011, with £8billon to £10billion worth of cuts likely over the three years from then.

Trust leaders say the decision will not affect other major initiatives such as the ongoing construction of the new Rossendale Health Centre at Rawtenstall, which is set to open next spring.

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