£14m revamp will help Walsall Manor hospital cope, says boss

A hospital will struggle to cope with rising numbers of patients unless it receives a £14 million upgrade, health chiefs have insisted.

Walsall Manor Hospital

Bosses at Walsall Manor have said the investment is necessary if it is to deal with increasing demands from the Staffordshire area.

Final recommendations for the downgrading of Stafford Hospital were revealed this week. It will see extra patients go to neighbouring areas such as Stoke, Wolverhampton and Walsall.

The health trust in Walsall says it needs £14m of funding to create two new medical wards, extend maternity services and contribute towards a revamp of the A&E and ITU.

It is awaiting confirmation of the funding but there are fears services could suffer unless the investment gets the go-ahead from the Government.

The Manor’s chief executive Richard Kirby
The Manor’s chief executive Richard Kirby

Speaking at a meeting of the board, chief executive Richard Kirby, said: “I think we would find it a real challenge in accommodating the Staffordshire work we are going to be asked to do in a few years time if we don’t get that capital resource.

“We saw a big increase last year, we have seen another big increase this year. Without the ability to expand the physical capacity on site it would be very difficult for us to continue to do that.”

Chairman of the board Ben Reid added: “It is a fantasy world to think we can just keep carrying on as we are without extra resources.” Emergency admissions have rocketed by up to 40 per cent at the Manor, with increasing numbers of patients from Staffordshire.

Walsall Manor had been in the running to take over Cannock Chase Hospital in the shake up, but looks set to miss out to the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust under the plans. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt will have the final say on the recommendations in February next year.

Bosses at the Manor said although they were disappointed they would continue to work with Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group as part of long-term plans for services.