Worcester MP Robin Walker has welcomed news that Worcestershire Royal Hospital has brought forward funds to build a new link footbridge between the main building and the second floor of Aconbury East that will span the hospital loop road and service yard.
The funding worth £3 million is the first part of a £29 million boost for acute hospitals across the county announced in July last year. This package is the biggest capital investment in the trust since Worcestershire Royal Hospital opened back in 2002 and Robin has continually pressed for more investment in the hospital during his time as MP. Securing the £29 million capital injection in the Trust was his number one campaign pledge in the 2017 General Election. This is part of the Government’s £325 million capital investment that is set to modernise and transform care patients receive across the country.
The link bridge development and the refurbishment of the Aconbury East ward areas will provide an additional 81 beds on the Worcestershire Royal Hospital site and will help to reduce bed occupancy. The additional beds will allow for a greater separation of elective and emergency care so that there should be fewer cancellations of elective surgery due to bed availability. This will support improvements in the emergency access standard and in 62 day cancer performance and referral to treatment performance. The bridge will also allow patients to be to be taken straight to the new wards and it will reduce the use of ambulances and the time taken to move people from one part of the hospital to another.
With construction set to begin as early as April of this year, the link bridge will also provide access to two other ward areas in Aconbury West and Aconbury North providing care for more acute patients.
Speaking after the announcement, Robin said;
“I am delighted to hear about the new link bridge development and that construction will begin in the coming months. I know from concerns raised with me over the years about the pressures bed capacity at the Royal and I know that increased provision of beds is one of the biggest priorities for improvement. I have been pressing Government first to confirm this vital investment and then to deliver it as soon as possible and I am glad to see the first element of it being put to use.”
“The £29 million of Government funding announced last year is vital to provide top quality care in Worcester and was the result of years’ worth of campaigning from many people including county MPs. It is excellent to see the new Acute Trust management taking this to heart and delivering these much-needed improvements quickly. Along with the range of measures being taken to fill vacancies amongst clinical staff, to improve management performance and safety this expansion is a crucial component of the plan to raise capacity and improve the patient experience at our local hospital.”