Funding urgently needed for ‘ageing’ Royal Preston Hospital says new NHS report

Posted on - 25th July, 2021 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Fulwood, Health, Preston News
Royal Preston Hospital surrounded by Fulwood
Royal Preston Hospital surrounded by Fulwood

Royal Preston Hospital has been named in a new NHS report that calls for urgent funding to revitalise ageing buildings.


The New Hospitals Programme Case for Change report outlines the critical need for investment.

It describes the impact that current issues with the buildings have on the patient and staff experience, local health and the ability to deliver hospital services productively and efficiently.

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Royal Preston Hospital’s emergency department

The Case for Change is the first in a series of official documents that the local NHS must produce as part of the Lancashire and South Cumbria New Hospitals Programme.

It explains the problems that the local NHS hopes to address through funding for new hospital facilities and how this supports ambitions to improve health and wellbeing and deliver better care for local people.

The report provides evidence to address significant issues with the ageing of RPH’s buildings.

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Developed in collaboration with clinicians, staff, patients, key stakeholders and representatives of local communities in the region, it covers six themes:

  • Lancashire and South Cumbria: how ageing hospital buildings impact the local ability to provide for current and future health needs
  • Our hospitals: the pivotal role of hospitals in the community and the poor condition of buildings
  • Our clinical strategy: the problems ageing hospital buildings present in the context of the ambitions for hospital care and the health and care system
  • Our workforce: the impact of inadequate hospital estate on existing NHS staff and the ability to attract new staff
  • Our digital ambitions: how ageing hospital buildings prevent them from fulfilling the digital technology and sustainability goals
  • Our use of resources: hospital infrastructure can impact local productivity and efficiency.

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Royal Preston Hospital's Acute Frailty team
Royal Preston Hospital’s Acute Frailty team

Jerry Hawker, Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership’s Executive Director for the New Hospitals Programme, said: â€œMaking our case for change is the first important step in our region’s journey to new hospital facilities.

“Increased pressure on health services, combined with the age, condition and layout of some of our existing hospital buildings, means we must act now to address these to serve the current and future needs of local people.

“By building new hospital facilities, we will ensure we can offer the standard of treatment and care that local people expect and deserve. We will also deliver on our local NHS ambition to create a health system for Lancashire and South Cumbria that is one of the best in the world and plays its part in revitalising our regional economy.”

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Of the 1.8m people served by the hospitals, a larger proportion experience mental and physical ill-health than the rest of England. The number of people over 65 is projected to increase by 22 per cent by 2030. 20 per cent live in the most deprived communities in the country.

Royal Preston Hospital is critical, restricting the ability to provide high-quality, safe, efficient and cost-effective services for patients.

RPH has backlog maintenance costs totalling ÂŁ157m due to its dilapidated condition.

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The hospital cannot accommodate the vital digital technology required for modern healthcare or the recommended number of single rooms to allow patients greater privacy and ensure the highest infection control standards, particularly for cancer patients.

Poor hospital facilities mean patients wait longer than they should for urgent treatment, routine surgery, diagnostics and cancer treatment. The investment will reduce waiting times and expand choice by providing services closer to home and enabling more specialist services in Lancashire and South Cumbria.

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As part of the government’s pledge to build 40 new hospitals by 2030, the Lancashire and South Cumbria New Hospitals Programme offers an opportunity to transform the region’s ageing hospitals and develop new, cutting-edge hospital facilities that offer the best in modern healthcare.

Investment in hospitals will enable the local NHS to provide new buildings and technology, strengthening the region’s position as a centre of excellence for research, education and specialised care.

The funding will also impact the local region, attracting further investment and acting as a catalyst to deliver socio-economic benefits. It will play a part in revitalising the regional economy and introduce measures to cut carbon emissions and protect the environment.

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Local people, NHS staff and stakeholders are encouraged to provide their views as part of the proposals. Being part of a national hospital building programme will mean the experience is shared across different schemes.

The programme is following a clear process, with scrutiny and approvals needed from decision-makers within the NHS, the government and local authorities and a series of milestones to pass before funding is awarded and building can start. The building of new hospital facilities is due to be completed by 2030.

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Do you think we need to provide more funding to fix ageing hospitals? Let us know in the comments below

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