Worcester’s MP, Robin Walker, used his first question of the new Parliamentary session to thank Ministers for the recent announcement of £4 million of investment in A&E capacity at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital but to push for more.
He welcomed confirmation that the £4 million investment in Emergency Department capacity and a new discharge suite at Worcester’s hospital has been given the go ahead by Ministers but pointed out that there will be a need for still greater capacity in the future.
Robin asked the Hospital’s Minister Ben Gummer,
“What steps his Department is taking to manage and meet demand for A&E services in Worcester”
The Minister answered:
“Last month, the Department approved a £4 million capital improvement loan for the expansion of the A&E department at Worcestershire Royal hospital and the development of a dedicated discharge lounge. Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and the local health system will also receive practical support via the emergency care improvement programme to help the trust to address the challenges it has faced in meeting the four-hour A&E waiting time standard.”
“I thank the Minister for his reply. I warmly welcome his recent decision to approve the £4 million interim investment in A&E capacity and a new discharge suite at the Worcestershire Royal. As he knows, demand remains very high, and the number of patients being admitted to hospital is close to record levels. May I urge him and his colleagues to look very carefully and urgently at plans for further upgrades, which could deliver much-needed capacity over the coming years?”
And the Minister responded:
“I assure my hon. Friend that we will do so, but he will be conscious that capital plans are the responsibility of individual trusts. I urge his trust to take part fully in the Worcestershire acute review and in other reviews of the west midlands health service. There are challenges, and we will only fix the problems if there are locally sourced solutions, which we will then seek to support.”
Commenting on the exchange and the situation in Worcestershire, Robin said:
“I am pleased that we are already seeing investment in the Worcestershire Royal Hospital where it is most needed, but I am aware that the pressures remain strong and with an ageing population and more people living with long term conditions, we are going to need more in the future. I have consistently made the case that the WRH was built too small by Labour and with an expensive PFI contract that has made it difficult to upgrade.”
“Fortunately we now have a Conservative Government that is committed to investing £10 billion more over the next five years in our NHS and I want to make sure part of that investment goes towards a significant upgrade of our hospital. I recognise that reconfiguration may be part of that process but fundamentally we need more capacity in Worcester and I am determined to get it.”
Notes for Editors:
For the Hansard record of the exchange at Health Questions see:
For Robin’s previous campaigns on this issue see: