BOSSES at Taunton's Musgrove Park Hospital who have drawn up plans for a £79.5 million surgical centre are waiting to see if the Government will pay for it.

The proposed development would contain emergency and elective operating theatres with some day case surgery; an endoscopy unit; intensive treatment and high dependency units; and clinical office accommodation.

A planning application submitted to Taunton Deane Borough Council outlines how the new scheme could be built on the site of a number of 1940s buildings no longer considered fit for purpose.

A document supporting the plans has been prepared and a bid is to be made for a chunk of the £3.6 billion pledged for capital projects by Chancellor Philip Hammond in his Autumn Budget.

The project is the second phase of an initiative that has already seen a 112-bed development and concourse area in the £34 million Jubilee Building, which opened in 2014.

A supporting statement with the planning application says: "The rationale for the proposals is based on the current inadequacies of the hospital buildings, which are inefficient and fail to provide for the needs of modern healthcare.

"The site currently contains a mix of buildings of varying age and condition.

"The hospital site was extensively developed as an American field hospital in the Second World War and was originally named Musgrove Military Hospital, built as a British naval hospital until it was taken over by the US Army in 1941."

It adds that departments have been constructed in an ad hoc way, resulting in "a piecemeal and cluttered site with poor connectivity and buildings which are increasingly costly to maintain".

Dr Stuart Walker, chief medical officer at Musgrove, said: "The new surgical centre at Musgrove Park Hospital will be an important development for the hospital and the community.

"A business case has been developed for the plans and we are now waiting for the opportunity to submit a bid for the money that was announced in the Autumn Budget."

Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow is pressing the Government to fund the building after raising the issue in the House of Commons last month.

She said: "There is an online public consultation running until March 2 and I urge local people to feed into this.

"Following my adjournment debate in Parliament on this subject, I sent out a petition to thousands of people across Taunton Deane to ask for their support for Musgrove’s application for Government funding and I really hope the people of Taunton Deane will get behind this campaign."

To support Ms Pow's campaign, e-mail with the subject line Investment for Musgrove.