Health Minister hears case for multi million investment in local hospitals

Worcester’s Parliamentary Candidate, Robin Walker has welcomed his colleague Philip Dunne, the candidate for Ludlow and Minister of State for Health on a visit to Worcestershire Hospitals and joined him for meetings with management, staff and volunteers at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital today.

Robin, who has been making the case for an investment of around £29 million in both the WRH and the Alex hospital in Redditch, welcomed the opportunity to talk to the Minister about how the money could be spent to add bed capacity to the hospital and to relieve pressure on the A&E department. They discussed plans with the new management of the trust Chairman Carragh Merrick and CEO Michelle McKay, who the Minister had already met in her second week in the job. They reinforced the case for making the substantial multi million pound investment as soon as possible, explained the steps being taken to take the trust out of special measures and talked through how plans for a new medical school in Worcester could help with recruitment and retention of doctors.

They also visited the A&E department where the Minister was able to see the impact of recent investment to expand capacity but also the need for more. He heard from A&E doctors and nurses about the challenges of working in a confined space and how the capital investment plans could relieve some of the pressure that they are working under. They showed him the new ambulatory emergency care set up which has been supported by recent interim investment secured last year and talked about how the nearly £1 million extra funding announced in April could be used to provide better patient streaming, GP support and triage.

On previous visits the Minister has seen the award-winning midwife led birth centre and the state of the art £24 million oncology centre which Robin campaigned for in his first term in Parliament. Since 2015, he has been making he case for investment to focus on bed capacity and A&E. They also discussed the challenge of hospital car parking and Robin made the case for investment in a multi-storey car park, which was strongly supported by staff at the hospital. At the start of the visit Robin was able to introduce the Minister to volunteers from the Royal Voluntary Service and thank them for their valuable support in Volunteer’s week.

Commenting on the visit, Robin Walker said

“I am very pleased that the Minister has come today to visit both the WRH and the Alex hospital and to see how further capital investment can support them. He has already made clear that we are a high priority for the Government and that the Conservative manifesto offers the largest capital investment programme in our hospitals for decades. I believe it is vital that we complete the Future of Acute Services Review as soon as possible so that we can secure the multi million pound investment that our hospitals need. I want to see investment in both Worcester and Redditch to ensure our whole county has the capacity it needs to meet rising demand and that the wonderful nurses, doctors and other staff at our hospitals have the facilities they deserve. Only the Conservatives in this election have the plans to deliver this investment swiftly and Labour’s plans to reopen the STPs and all reviews of hospitals could mean delaying or even cancelling well developed plans.  I was pleased to have the chance to reinforce the case for a new medical school in Worcester and more parking at our hospital and in Volunteer’s Week it was a pleasure to be able to introduce the Minister to some of the wonderful volunteers who help to make it such a special place.”

Philip Dunne said

“I was encouraged to learn that the trust is progressing with a Full Business Case to support its plans for a £29 million investment in improved facilities at both the Worcester and Redditch Hospitals, in addition to the almost £1 million awarded following the Budget to improve patient streaming for those attending A&E. I confirmed that if a Conservative Government under Theresa May is re-elected next Thursday then this project will be a priority. Our recent manifesto committed to deliver the most ambitious programme of investment in buildings and technology the NHS has ever seen, and the hospitals here In Worcester and Redditch are a clear priority for that new funding. This commitment should help the new leadership team at the Trust in their efforts to improve recruitment and retention rates for the dedicated staff across Worcestershire, as part of their plans to secure improved health services for local people across the County.”

Notes to editors

For Robin’s recent and previous releases on the NHS in Worcester and his campaigns to upgrade the facilities in local hospitals see:

http://www.walker4worcester.com/walker-welcomes-commitment-to-invest-in-both-worcestershire-royal-hospital-the-alex/

http://www.walker4worcester.com/walker-welcomes-recognition-for-meadow-birth-centre-at-annual-awards/

http://www.walker4worcester.com/worcesters-mp-presses-secretary-of-state-for-hospital-funding-welcomes-investments-in-mental-health/

For Robin’s Parliamentary Questions backing the appointment of new management and the expansion of the WRH see:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm160105/debtext/160105-0001.htm#160105-0001.htm_spnew96

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm151013/debtext/151013-0001.htm#151013-0001.htm_spnew69

For Robin’s previous campaigns on the WRH see:

http://www.walker4worcester.com/worcester-mp-praises-dedication-compassion-and-teamwork-of-hospital-staff-ahead-of-inspection/

http://www.walker4worcester.com/safety-must-be-number-one-focus-for-local-nhs-addressing-safety-means-fixing-capacity/

http://www.walker4worcester.com/walker-welcomes-ministerial-meeting-to-address-worcestershires-hospital-challenges-presses-minister-for-permanent-appointments-to-local-trust/

http://www.walker4worcester.com/walker-welcomes-boost-for-mental-health-more-emergency-support-for-hospitals/

http://www.walker4worcester.com/walker-calls-for-further-upgrades-at-royal-hospital/

http://www.walker4worcester.com/walker-leads-push-to-upgrade-worcesters-ae/

http://www.walker4worcester.com/articles/view_detail.php?id=4577789b9af9f2f64cce489953500dd8