HEALTH bosses have delayed publishing the findings of a probe into why a brand new £24 million Altrincham health centre may never be used by patients.

The Altrincham Health and Wellbeing Centre, which had been hailed as the major hub for south Trafford, was designed to provide patients with a range of services, including a minor surgery suite.

But NHS services said they cannot afford the rent, according to a Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group (TCCG) report that revealed concerns about overheads and costs.

Last month, Greater Manchester Health and Care Partnership said it was investigating the circumstances behind the centre’s development with bosses hoping the building can maintain a ‘health and care focus’.

Speaking at the time, chief officer Jon Rouse said an independent review was expected to conclude before the end of the year.

This week, Mr Rouse confirmed the review is still being finalised.

He said: “It is very important that it is as accurate as possible and that all facts are checked.

“This is taking a little longer than anticipated and we hope now to receive the final report in the new year.”

A string of tenants, including St John’s medical centre, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS trust, Pennine Community Services and Barrington medical centre, were lined up to move in the Market Street building.

However, St John’s said the move would cost its practice an additional £70,000 a year, while Pennine said it was looking at £500,000 in extra overheads and Greater Manchester mental health trust £375,000.

NHS bosses then said they were unable to afford the relocation costs after the trust said it was ‘no longer in a position to commit to previous assurances given to providers regarding cost neutrality’.

To make use of the site, TCCG then said its ‘preferred option’ would be to convert the building from medical use into commercial office space – costing another £7m.

However, Anthony Hassall, interim accountable officer for TCCG, said the building may not become office space as ‘all options’ will be considered.

Meanwhile, the only organisation now using the centre is non-medical – as Altrincham Library relocated from its Stamford New Road.

Speaking earlier this year when the review was launched, Mr Rouse said: “Concerns about the building were raised in August – and following discussions with TCCG it became clear that there was a lack of clarity on its use.

“This was clearly a concern so late in the development process – and in such a challenging financial environment.

“Therefore, the partnership has commissioned an independent review to examine how this came about.”