The Midlands Medical Accommodation (MMA) project aims to create, by March 2014, a new community of excellence—clinical, research and training at the Defence Medical Services establishments of Whittington near Lichfield and in Birmingham, both located in the west midlands. The project will be delivered in three phases of incremental acquisition, of which increment 1 is complete. I am pleased to say that the funding for increment 2 is now in place, and a contract for the associated work has been awarded to Carillion plc, subject to conditions precedent.
Increment 1 has already delivered a modern headquarters office building in which the Surgeon General’s strategic headquarters and the headquarters of the Joint Medical Command are now collocated and fully operational;
Increment 2 will create a modern training centre. This will include new training facilities; a new learning centre; a new lecture theatre; new messes for officers and for warrant officers and senior non-commissioned officers; service living accommodation for officers (permanent staff) and a new junior ranks’ dining and leisure facility. These will replace the existing facilities at Keogh barracks which would require levels of investment that compare unfavourably with those of the project; and
Increment 3, running along side increment 2, will provide modern single living accommodation. This is part of the ongoing upgrade programme approved under project SLAM.
The MMA project will draw together the currently dispersed components of the Defence Medical Services. The foundation of a close geographic community around Lichfield and Birmingham will encourage long-term life and career choices, particularly about stability, housing and education. This community will become a central and enduring feature in the life of the Defence Medical Services. It will be a firm base from which to exploit and sustain progress in military medicine, and a community providing respite from the intense demands of operational service. The Midlands Medical Accommodation project lays the foundation of a cohesive community of excellence and fellowship that will meet, with confidence, the strategic imperative to deliver military health care.