Musgrove Hospital wins funds
The announcement came last night (why does government put our press releases at 9pm on Friday evening). Musgrove Park hospital in Taunton is one of 40 hospitals to win funding to be built or rebuilt. Musgrove will be rebuilt rather than knocked down and started from scratch.
The County Gazette were so keen to get the news out first that they ran with the headline “£millilons to ‘rebuild’ Taunton’s Musgrove Park Hoispital”! Oh well, there but for the grace of God…..
As The Leveller® reported at the time, the last announcement on the hospital building programme caused Taunton MP Rebecca Pow to jump the gun. Claiming Taunton would receive tens of millions for a rebuild this turned out to be untrue. Red faces all round. A closer review of the details revealed that in fact it would receive just £2m to work up a plan. It is that plan, developed by the team at Musgrove that is to be fully funded.
There is no announcement for now as to how much money Musgrove will receive. But Ms Pow’s erroneous statement has at least turned into an accurate prediction.
However funding is clearly being curtailed for the second part of the Government’s Health Improvement Plan. The first tranche of funding released was £2.8billion to build 6 new hospitals. Or on average, £466m each.
This, the second tranche will see just £3.7bn to cover the building or rebuilding of 40 hospitals. That’s and average of just £92.5m per hospital.
However Musgrove has not faired too badly in the last 12 months. Work is already underway on an ambitious programme – called Musgrove 2030 – to transform the hospital’s facilities. Separate funding is already in place for these plans which include:
- Building a £80 million surgical centre at Musgrove Park Hospital that will include operating theatres, a critical care unit and an endoscopy suite. Enabling building works have already begun to clear the site so that building work can begin in 18 months’ time.
- Developing a £11.5 million acute assessment hub adjacent to the hospital’s emergency department (A&E) to support care for patients requiring emergency treatment.
Peter Lewis chair of the Somerset NHS Foundation Trust which runs Musgrove noted “The confirmation of the additional funding announced today will enable us to look at our remaining outdated estate and create a state-of-the-art hospital in Taunton including a new maternity and children’s building and further development of our cancer and emergency services.”
The plans for Musgrove Hospital are therefore not a full rebuild. However the Trust aims to phase out the oldest parts of the hospital and develop new state-of-the-art buildings on the same site. The ambition is to offer patients modern, individual healthcare based on the most advanced treatments, technology, innovation and research.