Progress on the Gunnedah hospital upgrade has been drawn out due to the ongoing pandemic, with staff and community consultation to re-commence in the coming weeks.
Hunter New England Health (HNEH) focus is currently on the COVID-19 response, according to rural and regional health services executive director, Susan Heyman.
She said HNEH's focus was also on "ensuring the community is well supported during the pandemic".
This meant work on the clinical services plan was postponed. This stage has been underway since the beginning of 2020.
"A large amount of consultation with Gunnedah staff, clinicians and local community stakeholders had already been completed prior to the first wave of COVID-19," Ms Heyman said.
"Clinical services planning looks at the range of clinical services (e.g. medical, surgical, maternity, emergency, non-inpatient services etc) the community may require into the future."
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson told the NVI he was planning on holding an "update session for stakeholders soon".
He said he was "trying to lock in dates" at the moment.
Once the clinical services planning is complete and endorsed by the NSW Ministry of Health, HNEH will then assemble a project team to deliver a preliminary business case.
This business case is the first draft of what kind of clinical services should be included in the redevelopment, what facilities need to be redeveloped or constructed to support them, and what approximate budget would be required to deliver the project.
Funding to the tune of $53 million was committed by Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson for the redevelopment at the 2019 state election.