“This is fantastic news for Cornwall,” said, Kate Shields, who has been supported by local MPs in pushing the case for investment since becoming RCHT’s Chief Executive a year ago. “It means we will be able to build facilities to give the next generation the best start in life and bring together services so that our clinical teams can provide brilliant care. We can’t wait to get started!”
The £100 million investment will see the construction of a new building between the existing Tower Block and Trelawny Wing. This will house women’s and children’s services including maternity, neonatal care and gynaecology. These will be moved from the Princess Alexandra Wing; a building that has been criticised during Care Quality Commission inspections and which, due to structural defects, has a limited life-span.
“Our recent refurbishments to keep the old building going, and to give families now the very best that we can, were always carried out with a bigger scheme in mind in the years to come,” said Head of Midwifery, Jane Urben. “Knowing the new build is now going to be a reality is an amazing boost for us all and such brilliant news for families and our future generations.”
The investment is excellent news, too, for children’s services which will transfer from the top floors of the Tower Block to the new building.
Clinical Matron, Mary Baulch said,
“It is more than 20 years since there has been any major investment in children’s facilities at the hospital and their co-location with maternity and neonatal services will allow our teams to work more effectively, to provide safer care and to meet national guidelines. It really is fabulous news!”
NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group Chief Officer, Jackie Pendleton welcomed news of the investment:
“We’re absolutely delighted Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is getting this vital cash injection. Not only will it improve care for local people but modern facilities are bound to attract new staff and a development of this size will bring associated jobs and wider benefits to our local economy.”
Elizabeth O’Mahony, Regional Director for NHS England and NHS Improvement in the South West, said:
“This is excellent news, giving us a significant start to the sort of capital investment that the NHS needs in the South West. The development at Royal Cornwall Hospitals should make a real difference for patients and staff alike, providing a much-improved environment for care in line with the NHS Long Term Plan.”
The building will also become the new main entrance for the hospital with plans for changes to the layout of roads and a pedestrian zone to improve the environment and accessibility. The next step will be for plans to be further developed and a building programme determined.
BBC Radio Cornwall – Interview with Kate Shields