The funding, part of the government’s long term plan for the NHS which was announced earlier in the year, is to be spent on major improvements to the NHS’s ageing infrastructure in the county, and will allow the progression of other ambitious plans for innovation and transformation that are part of the Shaping our Future programme.
More than £31 million of the sum will be used to re-develop and move Lowen oncology ward and the MRI department at Royal Cornwall Hospital’s Treliske site that has been judged unfit for purpose with MRI scanners that have out-lived their economic life at 14 and 16 years old. This key investment and the re-siting of these facilities is also an integral factor to make way for a new women and children’s unit at the hospital in the future.
Kate Shields, Chief Executive of Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, said:
“It is fantastic news that RCHT is going to get the new scanners needed and also that the move of Lowen ward will mean we can really start progressing the plans for our badly needed new maternity, women’s and children’s unit.”
Recent Care Quality Commission inspections highlighted the urgent need for the improvement of poor facilities with inadequate surgical space, insufficient space for emergency procedures and room layouts affecting people’s dignity and privacy with unusable space and security issues.
In the west of the county, £9 million will be spent creating modernised and clinically ‘fit for purpose’ facilities, including improvements to West Cornwall Hospital’s outpatients’ department.
NHS Kernow’s Chief Officer Jackie Pendleton said:
“We are delighted that this significant funding has been approved and that we can look forward to seeing new and improved services for people. This will help us continue to develop and provide more and more services in our local communities and reinforces our decision to create one of our urgent treatment centres at West Cornwall Hospital.
“It is testament to the confidence our regulators and funders have in the progress we are making in creating a better and more integrated health and care service for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.”