Extra 8,000 patient spaces planned in £36m Walsall Manor Hospital expansion
The £36.2m expansion of Walsall Manor Hospital's clogged A&E department would allow it to take an extra 8,000 patients a year, bosses have revealed.
The Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust has bid for the Government funding to build an extension to its over-crowded A&E department, which is bursting at the seams due to a huge influx of additional patients over recent years.
According to bosses the expansion will allow them to take 87,000 patients a year – 8,000 more than the current figure.
Details of the trust's bid were revealed by Theresa May during Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday.
A bid for £36.2m was lodged in July and the trust will find out if it has been successful in the coming weeks, Mrs may told the Commons.
The trust said the A&E department has seen 'a significant increase' in the number of patients through its doors.
This is due partly to the department taking additional patients from nearby trusts, while the stalled work on the Midland Met Hospital due to the collapse of Carillion is also thought to have had an impact.
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust chief executive Richard Beeken, has branded the emergency department 'not fit for purpose'.
He said today: "An expansion will allow us to care for an additional 8,000 patients a year, compared to the 79,000 we currently support.
“We have submitted our bid to NHS Improvement after working closely with colleagues there at all stages of our business case.
"It is encouraging to hear the Prime Minister’s response that a decision is expected shortly.
“To ensure minimal impact to our service we would construct an extension which allows staff and patients to continue to use the department while work is ongoing.”
Walsall Manor has repeatedly failed to meet A&E waiting targets set by the NHS in recent years.
In December, the CQC found 'a number of improvements' at the trust, which had been previously been rated 'inadequate' and placed in special measures.
Its current rating is 'requires improvement'.
Eddie Hughes, the Conservative MP for Walsall North, is due to meet Health Secretary Matt Hancock to discuss the bid.
Walsall Council leader Mike Bird said: "It is fantastic that this is clearly on the Government's agenda and hopefully Eddie Hughes will be able to get it over the line."