New £3 million ward for Telford's Princess Royal Hospital in winter plan

A new £3 million ward is expected to open at Telford's hospital in January, as health bosses make preparations for winter demands.

Health chiefs are planning to open the new ward, which is expected to have about 30 beds, at Princess Royal Hospital.

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which runs the hospital, is hoping to secure capital funding for the project and is awaiting the final sign-off from NHS bosses.

Simon Wright, chief executive of the trust, said: "Fingers crossed we will hear this week.

"The earliest it will be ready is the first week of January."

He says demand has been growing on the trust year on year and the new ward, will help to increase capacity.

Stopping 'corridor care' has also become a priority for the trust.

Mr Wright says it has become too 'common place' and nobody wants to see it continue.

It comes as SaTH has been making preparations for the coming winter.

Mr Wright says the trust has been working to try and reduce the length of stay for patients in its hospitals where possible.

'Lessons learned'

He says lessons have also been learned from last winter.

The trust's winter plan, which will be put before the trust board at a meeting tomorrow, shows extra beds will also be needed.

It is anticipated an additional 172 beds will be needed to meet peak demand in January next year.

Systems and processes in the accident and emergency departments have also been under review.

The winter planning report, by deputy chief operating officer Sara Biffen, says there has been a weekly winter planning group at SaTH, in order to ensure a whole trust agreement on priorities, risk and objectives.

It comes as Shropshire's accident and emergency departments continue to face high demand and workforce pressures.

Health bosses say they are continuing to look at contingency plans in case Telford's A&E has to temporarily close overnight on safety grounds.

There were also concerns surrounding the accident and emergency departments when inspectors from the Care Quality Commission visited SaTH last week to carry out an unannounced assessment.

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