Walsall Manor Hospital gets £36 million A&E funding
Walsall Manor Hospital has been given the green light for a new A&E department after the Government signed off on its £36 million funding bid.
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust submitted a bid for the cash to NHS Improvement earlier this year, with bosses warning that outdated A&E facilities at the hospital were not fit for purpose and were in desperate need of an upgrade.
Ministers at the Department for Health and Social Care have today signed off on the deal, which will see the current site expanded to allow capacity for 87,000 patients a year. It currently supports 79,000.
Walsall North MP Eddie Hughes, who has campaigned for extra cash alongside West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, said: “I have fought hard for this money and it is great to see the work pay off. The new emergency department is an essential development for Walsall, which will improve capacity, improve patient care and improve conditions for staff.”
The trust’s bid for the money was put forward in July, along with a number of other bids from hospitals around the country.
It was officially announced by Theresa May during Prime Minister’s Questions in September.
Earlier this week Mr Street made a direct appeal to the Government to sign off on the funding. He said the Manor had a ‘strong and special case’ for the cash, and stressed the urgency for work to start on expanding facilities as soon as possible.
The emergency department has struggled to meet key targets in recent years, largely due to overcrowding as a result of increased demand. Bosses now hope to start work on the Moat Road site by the end of 2019, with a view to opening it fully by October 2021.
Richard Beeken, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust chief executive, has said that to ensure ‘minimal impact’ to services during the work, an extension would be built allowing staff and patients to continue to use the department.
The announcement comes after the Government agreed to fund part of the delayed Midland Metropolitan Hospital in Smethwick.