27 Mar 2018, 10:03 a.m.

Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal Hospitals have been awarded £39.5m of capital funding to modernise hospital buildings, transform services and deliver even better patient care.

The money, awarded by NHS England and allocated under the Gloucestershire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP), will be used to provide the next generation of care at the county’s two main acute hospitals and is recognition of the strong partnership working between health, social care and the voluntary sector in the county.

Gloucestershire’s STP sets out a vision for how high quality health and care services can be sustainably delivered in the future. The plan puts a greater emphasis on prevention of illness, supporting more self-care, providing more joined up care and support in the community and developing hospital services to ensure safety and quality.

Under the proposals Cheltenham General Hospital (CGH) will receive additional theatre capacity at the main hospital site off College Road. Once completed, more patients will benefit from surgery at the hospital. The development will result in an improved environment for patients, reduced waiting times and offer better opportunities for clinicians to work together on site, improving the outcome for patients.

"We are thrilled at this announcement which gives us the opportunity to provide the next generation of care at Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal Hospitals in line with our vision for Centres of Excellence"

Deborah Lee

At Gloucestershire Royal Hospital (GRH) the plan is to erect a three-storey building adjoining the Tower Block and Gallery Wing. The ground floor will be fitted out to accommodate orthopaedic outpatients and other diagnostic treatments while the upper levels will accommodate wards with up to 30 beds each. These wards would be linked to the main hospital wards in the Tower Block. This would create the required space ensuring patients who need a hospital stay are cared for on the appropriate specialist ward – enhancing patient care and helping to reduce the patients’ length of stay.

The Emergency Department at the GRH will also be redesigned and extended to enable patients to receive the very best care and experience. The funds would also support the bringing together of a range of acute assessment services to work alongside the Department and speed up diagnosis, assessment and treatment.

Deborah Lee, Chief Executive of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We are thrilled at this announcement which gives us the opportunity to provide the next generation of care at Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal Hospitals in line with our vision for Centres of Excellence.

“To date, our two sites have sometimes been seen as a problem but I believe they present us with a huge opportunity to develop our vision of Centres of Excellence providing specialist care that really do excel and where more patients can be treated, waiting times are reduced, patient experience is improved and patient outcomes improve. This is an incredibly exciting time.”

Mary Hutton, Accountable Officer at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and STP lead said:

“This is very positive news for the county. As well as significant improvements in the physical environment for both patients and healthcare professionals, it will also support new ways of working as health services focus on providing timely, safe and high quality care in the face of rising demand.

“As well as supporting excellence in hospital care, our wider plan also supports a greater shift towards prevention, supporting active communities and delivering joined up community services that can avoid the need for hospital care.”

Sean Elyan, Medical Director and Oncology Consultant, added:

“What we want to develop are hospital services that perform exceptionally well so when any member of your family needs specialist care, whether that’s a new born baby accessing our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or a 72-year-grandfather with a fractured hip, we are able to deliver the best possible treatment and the best possible outcome. That’s what really matters to patients and this announcement gives us the best opportunity to realise that vision.”

Running parallel to this announcement is an additional £920,000 investment to improve emergency care services at CGH. This will include the co-location of same day emergency care (known as Ambulatory Emergency Care) and a service run by clinicians to direct (stream) patients to the most appropriate service.

These developments will improve the flow of patients through the department and improve the ability to triage (assess) patients as they present. This smaller improvement programme will be implemented ahead of next winter.