Wednesday, May 21, 2014

News: Rotherham Hospital outlines next investment

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The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust has submitted plans for the new multimillion pound facilities that will replace the Walk In Centre in Rotherham town centre.

The trust serves the health needs of the borough and delivers care at Rotherham Hospital, as well as community-based sites and directly in patients' homes.

Consultation took place last year with the trust advocating that everything for urgent care should be in one place. Urgent care includes immediate, non-emergency care that is usually on an unscheduled, walk-in basis. It includes treatment and advice for minor injuries or illnesses which cannot wait, such as broken bones, burns/scalds, infections, sprains and wounds.

The proposals for a new NHS Urgent Care Centre in Rotherham involve the closure of the Town Centre Walk in Centre on Greasborough Road and transfer of the GP out of hours service to a new purpose built Urgent Care Centre on the Hospital site.

Patients who currently walk into Accident & Emergency (A&E) at the hospital will in future access care through the proposed urgent care centre. It is set to operate 24 hours a day. This coincides with the increased use of the NHS 111 telephone number as a single point of access to care so that telephone triage will play a greater part in directing patients to urgent or GP care.

Plans, drawn up by Gilling Dod Architects, have now been submitted for an extension to the existing A&E facility that integrates an Urgent Care and Walk In facility into one department on the Rotherham Hospital site. The new service will comprise a two storey development (with a third storey roof top plant room) with an overall floor area of approximately 1,850 sq m, linked to the main hospital.

The new extension has been designed to complement the hospital's existing main entrance, that was redeveloped in 2011. It is "striking in design, with a prominent front elevation that inherently assists patient wayfinding ensuring that upon approach to the centre a clear point of entry and an accessible patient drop off zone are clearly defined."

Contractors are likely to be selected via the ProCure21+ National Framework and its supply chains.

Concerns have been raised over the capital costs of the proposals. £3m with a funding contribution of £1.5m has been budgeted for the 2015 financial year which comes at the same time as the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust set out plans to make savings of £10.3m in 2014/15.

In 2012, the regulator, Monitor, stepped in and announced that Rotherham was in "significant breach" of its licence to operate because of financial concerns.

Concerns have also been raised regarding transport and parking issues at the hospital site. The proposals include a total of 122 car parking spaces, for use by staff, being provided on the former mental health site at the Eastern side of the hospital site, close to Moorgate Road. This is set to free up spaces in the main public car park.

The existing £9.9m building operated by Care UK on the Greasborough Road site, which sees around 4,000 patients a month, will continue to offer a town centre GP surgery. All of the other NHS and community services will remain on site, including family planning/sexual health services and clinics.

Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust website

Images: Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust / Gilling Dod

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