Liverpool

Appeal delay 'threatens Royal Liverpool Hospital'

Artist's impression of new Royal Liverpool
Image caption It is hoped work on the new hospital will start next year

A legal challenge to Liverpool's new £450m hospital could threaten its future, a hospital boss has said.

Sam Semoff is appealing against a rejection of his judicial review application over the decision to build a new Royal Liverpool Hospital.

Hospital chief executive Tony Bell said any delay could threaten the project.

Mr Semoff launched his campaign as he believes paying for the hospital using the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) would leave the NHS with big debts.

But Mr Justice Burnett refused Mr Semoff's application for a judicial review of the Department of Health's decision to approve the business case for the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

'Resounding verdict'

The judge said that the evidence demonstrated "to my mind conclusively, that the claimant has no prospect of demonstrating any illegality on the part of the secretary of state".

Mr Semoff, a member of the organisation Keep Our NHS Public, says the new hospital will cost £1bn extra because it is being funded using PFI.

"I spent four months in the Royal and I know we need a new hospital but this is not the way to do it," he explained.

Mr Bell said: "We are now bitterly disappointed to learn that Sam Semoff is challenging such a resounding verdict.

"This is a major setback - the potential impact of which should not be underestimated.

"This legal challenge has already delayed the project by over four months.

"This will delay it further and is likely to deter interested bidders and deprive the city region of one of its most important regeneration opportunities for the future."

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