Ministerial green light for dental hospital plan

Plans to build a new dental hospital and school of dentistry at Pebble Mill, Birmingham have taken a further significant step forward after the Department of Health approved the first stage of a two-stage business case.

Ministerial approval has been given for the stage 1 business case to create a new hospital and school to replace the 50-year-old building in the city centre.

The green light for the proposals follows Birmingham City Council’s decision to grant outline planning permission in November 2011.

An application for detailed planning consent was submitted in May. If permission is granted, it is hoped construction will start in Winter 2012/13 and the new dental hospital and school of dentistry will open for patients and students during 2014.

The proposed development, led by Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust with partners the University of Birmingham, Birmingham and Solihull Local Initiative Finance Trust (BaS LIFT) and Calthorpe Estates would deliver the same range of quality services provided at the existing site in a modern fit-for-purpose building.

BCHC Medical director Rick Roberts said: “We are very pleased to have received approval from the Department of Health for this new hospital.

"The design of the new facility is well underway and is being developed to meet the changing needs of specialist modern dentistry and vital teaching practice to underpin the regional dental provision for the future.

“The existing hospital and school has a strong international reputation for specialist care, high calibre graduate and post-graduate training as well as significant research in dental methods, equipment and materials.

"It is anticipated the investment in this new facility will add to this reputation, especially when considering a comparable facility has not been constructed within the last 40 years.”

The project will be funded under the LIFT (Local Improvement Finance Trust) model supported by the Treasury.