Financial plans for a largescale extension of hospital services in south Birmingham were backed by local health officials yesterday.
In an extraordinary meeting, the South Birmingham Primary Care Trust gave its approval to the " New Hospitals for Birmingham Project" which includes the new superhospital in Edgbaston.
The project is being prepared jointly by the University Hospital of Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Trust.
The plans include a new 1,231-bed superhospital on the site of the existing Queen Elizabeth Hospital, as well as improved mental healthcare with new in-patient facilities for adults at the QE site and at Showell Green Lane in Sparkhill together with an older persons unit at Moseley Hall hospital.
The older persons unit has already attracted controversy from local residents who claim it will look like an 'airport terminal' and ruin the look of the conservation area.
But the trust has promised it will consider various changes to the proposals.
The board discussed three key issues including whether the planned superhospital would be the right size, if it would be viable based upon the amount of predicted future usage and whether the mental health component in the plan would be affordable.
The board agreed on all three points and to sign a letter of support in favour of the full business plan with the caveats that mental health be given increased prominence and that it ensures the minimal amount of disruption to local residents during the building process.
The plan will be discussed further at the next meeting of the trust on Friday March 22.
Graham Urwin, chief executive of South Birmingham PCT, said: "We welcome the full business case and believe it is more than adequate."