Robin Walker, MP for Worcester has welcomed the announcement that the Government has

approved approximately £4 million of extra funding for an expansion to the Emergency

Department at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital and the provision of an additional

discharge suite. This comes on the back of a further announcement of help for the

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust from the Emergency Care Improvement Programme.

Worcester’s hospital has seen a sustained rise in demand and Robin has met with the Acute

Trust, GPs, A&E doctors and nurses to understand what they need to meet it. It has been

clear from those meetings that the problem was not only in the increased demand for A&E

but also in getting patients discharged from the hospital effectively and that capacity was

needed at both ends of the system. Robin heard plans from the Trust for this expansion

before the Summer and took them to Ministers and Advisers at the Department of Health. He

has been pressing on a regular basis for confirmation that the work could go ahead and this

week received that confirmation. The Trust was notified that the Department and the Trust

Development Authority had approved the funding on Monday 7th September and approved

the plans at its board meeting this Wednesday.

 

It has been clear for some time that the hospital, built to serve a footfall of around 45,000

has been dealing with more like 66,500 and was struggling to meet the demand of a much

larger population within its catchment area as well as the issues faced across the UK with an

ageing population and more people living with long term conditions. Robin highlighted during

the election campaign his determination to see a major upgrade to Worcester’s A&E. He

received assurances from Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State that any plans would be

looked at with seriousness and urgency. Robin continues to support a larger plan to deliver a

£25 million upgrade to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital with more parking and a

reconfigured A&E Department but this will take some years to deliver and needs the

completion of a consultation on reconfiguring the wider Acute Trust.

 

Recognising that the pressures are already there and an interim solution was needed, he

met with clinical leaders straight after the election to discover what could be done in the

meantime. Today’s announcement will provide a much needed interim solution and should

mean that extra capacity will be in place for much of next winter.

Robin’s briefing from the Department of Health said

 

“Because of growth in attendances and consequent pressure on the WRH ED, the decision

was made to develop an interim solution to expand existing ED and ensure resilience

through the use of modular units. The scheme will provide 4 HDU beds, additional treatment

and consultation rooms and additional waiting areas.

 

The Trust plans to start the capital works asap to ensure the additional capacity is available

in time to cope with additional demand expected during the winter months. TDA Midlands

and East Team supported the proposal.”

 

Commenting on the announcement, Robin said

“Upgrading Worcester’s hospital was the number one point in my twelve point plan for

Worcester at the election. I am very pleased to see this vital funding come through. It is clear

that our hospital was built too small for the long term growth in demand it would face and the

additional investment being put into the NHS must be used to meet this demand. This first

step will bring a welcome increased to capacity both for emergency admissions and, just as

importantly for safe discharges. I continue to press for a bigger upgrade to the

Worcestershire Royal and remain convinced that this is necessary for the long run, but

today’s announcement is certainly a step in the right direction.”

 

“I now hope that all parties involved will work together to get the work done as quickly as

possible. The sooner this much needed capacity is in place the better. I know that hospital

staff have been working incredibly hard over the last few years to meet the needs of patients

and any investment in the hospital is a vote of confidence in them. I also welcome the

support for clinical leadership through the ECIP. The high demand for services in recent

weeks is a reminder of why it has been so vital to keep up investment in our NHS and I am

proud to be part of a Government which is doing so.”

 

Notes to editors

For more detail on today’s announcement and the Acute Trust’s account of recent pressures

see:

http://www.worcsacute.nhs.uk/news/operational-pressures-at-ae/

For Jeremy Hunt’s assurance that an upgrade would be considered see:

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

For Robin’s earlier campaigning on this issue and recent visits to the hospital see:

https://www.walker4worcester.com/local-nhs-is-getting-better-under-the-conservatives/

https://www.walker4worcester.com/praise-for-worcesters-new-midwife-led-birth-centre/

https://www.walker4worcester.com/articles/view_detail.php?id=3cf3443cadc7e8f07d6b5423ff

6b9531

On Monday it was announced that the Acute Trust would receive help from the ECIP and

local MPs were told:

As Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has been challenged in meeting its

emergency care 4 hour waiting time standard, the local system will receive tailored support

via ECIP to address this. ECIP will be clinically led and will offer practical support to improve

patient flow through the urgent and emergency care system and will ensure patients quickly

and safely return to their permanent place of residence, with any necessary support they

require.

ECIP will help local systems deliver rapid and sustained improvements in service quality,

safety and patient flow via four main strands of activity;

 Enhanced practical support from the Department of Health’s Emergency Care

Intensive Support Team (ECIST) for local systems- this will include additional

expertise from both the health and social care sectors

 Creating a collaborative learning network – this will link strong performers across the

urgent and emergency care system with other challenged systems, so that innovative

practice and insight can be shared

 A closer buddying system –providing access to highly tailored advice, support and

expertise from strong performers to facilitate any necessary change that is required

 Additional programme management support – to help local systems implement

improvements

The ECIP programme is being facilitated by Monitor, NHS Trust Development Authority,

NHS England and the Department of Health. This partnership will ensure that

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is supported by coherent efforts across the local

system and can focus on securing the necessary improvements in service quality, safety and

patient flow. To ensure you are engaged with ECIP and its progress, the ECIP team will

provide you with updates throughout the course of the programme.