£32 million Investment in Shrewsbury and Telford hospitals is welcomed
The £32 million investment into Shropshire's two main hospitals has been welcomed.
The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (Sath), which runs Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, made the announcement yesterday.
The move has been welcomed by Telford & Wrekin Council leader Councillor Shaun Davies.
He said: “We welcome any improvements in our hospital, although this is of course funded from existing money rather than new money; we stand ready to work with the trust in any way possible.
"It's our ambition to have the best health and social care system possible."
Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for adult social care and climate change, said the investment was 'crucial' for the people of Shropshire and staff who work at the trust.
He added: "This new funding will help deliver improved health and well-being outcomes, and reduce inequalities of provision for the people of Shropshire.”
Former health minister and Ludlow MP Philip Dunne said it was another boost for the health economy in Shropshire.
He said: "I welcome it without reservation.
"It's good news that the trust has found the resources both to bolster the clinician workforce and improve services for patients, as well as to undertake work on its estate independent of the Future Fit plans."
Daniel Kawczynski, MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham, said the Government had worked hard to reduce the annual deficit which will allow even more investment to be made in local services the future.
He added: "This is a very good example of what additional things can be achieved if we continue to modernise and improve efficiencies within the NHS.
"We need to constantly evaluate how we can improve the way services are provided."
Welcoming the investment, Wrekin MP Mark Pritchard said: "This is a historic investment in the staff and estate of the local NHS in Shropshire's long history and comes on top of the £312m the Government has already committed.
"This comes after months of working closely with NHS senior staff and NHS England. This is a great day for Shropshire's NHS."
But Telford MP Lucy Allan wants assurances over where the money will be spent.
She said: “The trust has not yet discussed this funding announcement with local representatives and so it’s not clear to what extent Telford’s Princess Royal will benefit.
“I am adamant that any extra funding for Sath must be allocated according to need with an emphasis on narrowing health inequalities.
"I look forward to receiving assurances on this issue.”
In a joint statement, David Evans, accountable officer for Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and David Stout, accountable officer for Shropshire CCG, said: “In light of the recent Care Quality Commission recommendations the CCGs welcome the investment by the trust in staffing and equipment in order to help deliver the required improvements in quality of care for our patients.”
Almost £15 million will be invested in recruiting to 200 positions, in areas such as A&E, critical care, maternity and end of life care.
A total of £17 million will also be spent on improving ageing estates at both hospitals – with £7 million of this in improvements in radiology, including a new CT scanner at PRH.
Maintenance issues are expected to be addressed in hospital buildings, while the funding will also help to develop IT and clinical services.
The trust says it will be able to make savings by employing more substantive staff, rather than agency workers, and is also developing programmes to train staff in roles such as nursing associates, advanced nurse practitioners and consultants.
Savings will also come from re-looking at how it buys drugs, changes to tariff payments and reducing inefficient methods of working through its partnership with the Virginia Mason Institute in America.