IAN Austin MP has called for the government to fund new buildings at Birmingham Children's Hospital in a bid to improve parts of the outdated site.

The MP for Dudley North made the request in Parliament during a debate on the government's plans to build 30 new hospitals.

He called on the Health Minister, Edward Argar, to visit the hospital and meet the chief executive Sarah-Jane Marsh to see the facilities at first hand.

A number of the buildings at the world-famous hospital are 155 years old and there is currently no prospect of the site being rebuilt for at least 15 years.

Mr Austin said: “The Children’s Hospital provides brilliant life-saving care for the most seriously ill children from Dudley and across the West Midlands, but does so in buildings that are 155 years old.

“The brilliant Chief Executive, Sarah-Jane Marsh and her fantastic team are providing 21st century care in 19th century buildings and I want the Minister to visit the hospital and do everything he can to ensure it gets rebuilt more quickly.”

Speaking in the debate, Mr Austin said: "Thanks to the brilliant chief executive, Sarah-Jane Marsh, and the fantastic team of doctors and nurses and all the support staff, the most seriously ill children from Dudley and elsewhere in the West Midlands receive the most fantastic care at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

"I know that the Minister has had a lot of requests for meetings and visits today, but I would like to ask him to make the short trip to Birmingham and come with me to meet Sarah-Jane Marsh and the staff, see what they are doing and see how much better it could be if he managed to find a way of enabling the hospital to have the new facilities it needs."

Edward Argar responded: "I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. He is right to highlight the world-leading work of that hospital, carried out by Sarah-Jane Marsh and her team. He is right: it is a team effort. Every single person in the NHS family is vital to delivering those amazing outcomes and he is right to highlight that. I am very happy, as ever, to visit the great city of Birmingham, and even more so to do it in tandem with him."