Preparatory groundwork is underway on a new £12.5m state-of-the-art Endoscopy Unit which will open to patients next Spring, subject to planning permission.
The funding is part of a £20.6m emergency national capital investment given to QEH which will modernise the hospital’s facilities for patients, their families and staff.
The investment also provides the necessary space to allow the movement of wards and the installation of failsafes where needed in the hospital (to reduce the risk of Reinforced Autoclaved Concrete (RAAC) plank failures) which will further improve the safety and delivery of some services.
Caroline Shaw CBE, Chief Executive QEH, said: “As you likely know, our hospital buildings are in a desperate state. They have reached the end of their life. We are trying to secure Government funding for a full new hospital – one that is fit for the future and one our patients and staff deserve – knowing this is the only sustainable solution for the QEH.
“If we manage to secure the funding and are confirmed as one of the Government’s eight new hospital schemes, it will take a number of years to go through the necessary planning and approvals process and build the hospital. The very earliest we would expect the new hospital to open its doors would be 2029.
“It’s therefore crucial that we continue to invest in our hospital during this time to make sure we provide the best care and experience we can for our patients, their families and staff. Thanks to the emergency national capital funding, and combined with the significant internal capital investment we are making in our hospital this year, including to help digitise our hospital – we are investing over £30m in the QEH which is more than we have ever invested in improvements at the hospital in a year.”
The current programme of work at the Trust for 2021/22 includes the following developments in addition to the Endoscopy Unit:
- A new outpatient facility
- Refurbishing a series of wards by April 2022 including creating a dementia-friendly ward for the elderly
- A new Maternity Bereavement Suite – due to open winter 2021
- Two new MRI scanners to replace outdated equipment – by the end of March 2022
In addition, the Outline Business Case for a state-of-the-art Diagnostic Assessment Centre has progressed to the next stage following Board approval, and if successful, will provide additional imaging capacity and transform patient care by March 2024.
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