STRUCTURE: The start of work to rebuild the trust’s Altrincham General Hospital is set to be pushed back a year, to November 2012, a revised timeline for the project shows.

A briefing note on the project – prepared by Central Manchester University Hospitals Foundation Trust, which is in the process of taking over Trafford Healthcare – was presented to the THT board on 29 November.

It shows a revised timeline for the rebuild, with work starting on site in November 2012 and the new hospital completed in June 2014.

It warns that: “It must be borne in mind that any significant change to the services, content or design of the facility would be likely to invalidate the tendering process, such that it would have to be re-run. This would have very significant consequences for the overall timescales, and the project as a whole.”

But it emphasised that the “rationale for maintaining a thriving hospital in Altrincham, focused on outpatient, diagnostic and minor injury service, is unaffected by the acquisition of THT by CMFT”.

“It is important to recognise the role that the AGH re-development plays, not just in the provision of health services, but in the regeneration of Altrincham town centre,” it added.

The note also sets out proposals for a revised board to manage the project, including a number of CMFT executives.

A memorandum of understanding signed between the two providers allows for CMFT to be involved in “management processes” at THT prior to the 1 April takeover “in respect of any issues that will have a material impact on the running of the combined entity beyond 1 April 2012”.

THT had originally hoped to begin construction work for the new hospital last month, but had recognised by August that “delays in receiving [strategic health authority] approval” meant it would not begin this year.