Bath City

RUH is not expecting ‘all or nothing’ funding for the transformation Bath City News

NHS leaders plotting a future for Bath’s main hospital are well positioned when funding becomes available, but say they won’t be holding their breath waiting for a £450m injection.

Last year, the Royal United Hospital had a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to bid for the nine-figure sum after Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged in a manifesto to build 40 new hospitals.

Simon Cook, who runs the local health infrastructure programme, said this week that figure was a “pre-pandemic number” and that trusts can now define what they think they need.

READ MORE: The secret underground city built near Bath in case of nuclear war

The funding announcement prompted the RUH to start considering a future model of care, and it now has a head start on other trusts.

On March 8, Mr Cook told members of the Bath Control Committee and North East Somerset Council: ‘We don’t want to build a white elephant on the hill, we want to invest in an asset that will be a benefit and not a burden for future generations.

“We try to position ourselves as a health economy to take advantage of any capital funding as it becomes available.

READ MORE: Bath is ‘ready to resettle refugees’ from Ukraine

“During the pandemic, as a nation, we have spent enough to build a shiny hospital in just about every city, but all we have in return are masks. There is a huge challenge in terms of finances.

The RUH conducted a consultation on a new care model focusing on prevention, wellness and a personalized care model. Mr Cook said it gave him an edge over other trusts and he was not looking to make ‘difficult’ changes to the estate, adding: ‘The outpatient model has fundamentally not changed since 1947 and in fact there is a huge opportunity to change that as we emerge from the pandemic.

“That means we have quite a different potential footprint at the RUH site. We’re not going to get everyone to line up for a 10 minute chat at the RUH; in the future, we seek to let the community know this and, in some cases, avoid the need for these appointments.

Read more related articles Read more related articles

“We don’t reconfigure services, we don’t move key elements of services. There will always be A&E, maternity services, intensive care, all those really vital assets.

“We have a reputation for being able to deliver, a real estate strategy based on this model of care, and we are not offering a program that will not be sustainable from a planning perspective with local residents – we are not looking not build a 10-storey toilet block on the Combe Park site.

“We are not looking at an all or nothing approach where we have to have a billion pound hospital or nothing at all. The program has been set up in such a way that it can be done in incremental stages so that as funds become available, the RUH is well placed to take advantage of them early on.

READ MORE: Citizens panel to help decide ‘pain and gain balance’ of new infrastructure in Bath

Mr Cook said the £450million ‘opening gambit’ was a ‘pre-pandemic figure’ and trusted leaders can now define what they think they need which will be more than that figure long-term.

“We are planning a trip where we can do it over 10 to 15 years,” he told advisers.

“There are a series of progressive steps that we have towards this overall blueprint for the future that the trust has been able to develop. We believe this is a realistic and practical way to move towards this future state.

“If we wait for all the money to come at once, we’ll be holding our breath.”

Looking for the best Bath stories all in one place? Sign up for our newsletter here.

READ MORE: The secret underground city built near Bath in case of nuclear war

READ MORE: Kind-hearted dog groomer travels to Ukraine with a van full of pet food

More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2022-03-10 14:48:02

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *