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Entire floor of £200m Barts Cancer Centre left empty

PUBLISHED: 18:00 24 September 2010

MORE than four months after the new £200million Barts Cancer Centre opened its doors, an entire floor has been left to gather dust.

The sixth floor of the nine-storey multimillion pound centre is now sitting completely empty - in an effort to cut costs.

When questioned by the Advertiser, Barts and The London NHS Trust admitted it didn’t know when the floor will be fitted-out or what exactly it will be used for.

The state-of-the-art cancer centre, which opened in May, is the first phase of an ambitious £1billion redevelopment of Barts and the Royal London.

But in 2006 the Trust decided to delay the fit-out of the sixth floor in an effort to reduce the cost of the billion pound scheme.

Geoff Martin, chairman of London Health Emergency, has hit out at the decision saying: “It’s outrageous and frankly scandalous that this trust has soaked up millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money when it hasn’t needed it while other hospitals are crying out for cash.

“Somebody should be called to account for this and they should hang their head in shame. There should be an inquiry into how this happened — how a brand spanking new entire floor of a hospital will just be mothballed.”

A Barts and The London NHS Trust spokesman said: “In 2006, for economy and affordability, and to secure approval for its ambitious investment programme, Barts and The London reduced the overall cost of the scheme by delaying the fit-out of some of its facilities including the 6th floor (of nine) in the new hospital at Barts. “Delaying the fit out of these facilities ensured the programme was affordable and gave us the scope to develop new services into the future.

“We are able to provide the full range and quantity of patient services and treatments within the facilities we have commissioned presently. We are continuing to explore the possibilities for treating even more patients than we have to date in our excellent new hospitals, and how we might offer new services for the communities we serve.

“Londoners already have access at Barts to some of the most advanced clinical care and facilities available in Europe today. As we further develop our hospitals, at Barts, and at The Royal London Hospitals, we will ensure that our hospitals will have the quality and flexibility to provide the most advanced health care and can adapt to the future health needs of the people we serve.”

The redevelopment was given the go-ahead in 2006 and is due to be completed in 2016.

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