A VISIONARY and ambitious plan to bring together urgent care services under one roof at Tameside Hospital has been rewarded with a £16.3 million windfall as part of the Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s capital spend programme for the National Health Service.
The hospital was one of 20 new NHS upgrades announced on Monday (August 5) to support health and social care transformation across the country.
The money will allow an extensive reorganisation of the site at Tameside Hospital to provide not only a state of the art emergency and urgent care facility, but also an improved approach to helping people when they are experiencing any sort of crisis – be it physical, mental health or social care related.
Karen James, chief executive of Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Tameside Hospital, was delighted the Prime Minister and his team had recognised this integrated care approach will reduce duplication of resources and speed up decision making which will hugely benefit patients.
She said: “Since our current A&E Department was set up in 1992 there has been a 21 per cent growth in attendance, resulting in overcrowding and patients being nursed and assessed in unsuitable areas.
“The current department is constrained by physical space, which means that during peak hours we have no dedicated area to assess or treat our patients. This money will change all that.
“Can I thank Mr Johnson on behalf of the 250,000 residents we serve in Tameside and Glossop for including us in his NHS capital spending programme.”
Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, welcomed the announcement but explained this funding is actually money hospitals and other NHS trusts already have but were forbidden from spending.
Hospitals that cut their costs were rewarded with extra capital from something called the Provider Sustainability Fund, but ministers then blocked them from spending it.
Mr Gwynne said: “Of course I am pleased that Tameside Hospital is in line for a much-needed upgrade, which could see the quality of care for my constituents and others improve considerably.
“However, the Government has repeatedly promised upgrades similar to these and failed to deliver so I will be putting pressure on ministers in Westminster to ensure that they deliver for Tameside Hospital.
“It’s also important not to lose sight of the fact that this isn’t really new money and does very little to make up for the billions that the Government have taken out of our NHS.”
• MP Andrew Gwynne is putting his support behind the Royal College of Nursing’s (RCN) campaign for safe staffing.
Mr Gwynne met with nursing staff from across the North West in Parliament to discuss safe staffing and to pledge his support for their campaign for safe and effective care to be enshrined in law in England.
The RCN is campaigning for legislation to guarantee nurse staffing levels in England across all sectors and settings.
He said: “Nursing staff play such a pivotal role in our NHS and should be supported so that they can carry out their vital duties as effectively as possible.”