Work well under way to renovate doctors' houses at Telford hospital
Work is well underway to refurbish four houses at Telford's Princes Royal Hospital in a bid to attract doctors to work in its A&E department – with the first two houses expected to be completed by the end of February.
The houses currently under development have so far been stripped of their old furniture and carpets to make way for a full refurbishment, including new kitchens, bathrooms and communal lounge areas.
Showers, toilets, lighting, fire alarms and drainage has already been installed in two of the four houses, with work continuing this month to lay new flooring and install new kitchens.
Once the houses are complete, they will be offered by the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) to junior and middle grade doctors for free to help with recruitment.
Work started on the renovation of three houses in November last year before funds were raised to include a fourth house.
The scheme was launched following an appeal from Telford & Wrekin Council Leader, councillor Shaun Davies who called on businesses for help to refurbish the houses to help recruit more junior and middle tier doctors to SaTH.
Councillor Davies said: “When complete, these houses will provide free accommodation to the junior and middle grade doctors our A&E so desperately needs. This will help with recruitment and SaTH will be the only hospital trust in England to provide such on site accommodation for free.
"This is a big project which has been backed by the community. I would like to thank those who have helped so far as it has made a difference in trying to keep our A&E open. Any parish councils or organisations willing to help should still get in touch.”
A £5,000 donation has already been received from Hadley & Leegomery Parish Council, Oakengates Town Council and St Georges and Priorslee Town Council. Great Dawley Town Council has also given £5,000 and Wellington Town Council has donated £4,800. Wrockwardine Wood and Trench Parish Council and Newport Town Council have also donated £2,500, while Dawley Hamlets Parish Council have donated £1,000.
Pledges of help and donations have also come from the community and businesses including Revive, TWS, Limetree Nurseries, Denso, Wrekin Housing, Mitre and WSP.
Madeley Town Council are the next council expected to contribute £5,000 to the project and will ratify its decision at a meeting on January 14 after its Environment Committee agreed to support the proposal in principle.
Dr Reuel Heng, Junior Doctors’ President at SaTH, said: “Our community here has been amazing in volunteering their time to help us bring this project to fruition. This hospital accommodation renewal provides new impetus towards fostering a sense of community within junior doctors, especially those just starting out in SATH.
"Lack of community has been shown as one of the six factors resulting in burnout and junior doctors in the future will have the option to live on-site, forming a close knit community and support network with other juniors which helps them adapt and settle into this new environment, ultimately translating into even better provision of care for our patients here at Princess Royal Hospital.”