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Torbay Hospital £400m rebuild will bring major changes to NHS services

The NHS is planning a major change in how healthcare is provided in Devon as part of a massive hospital rebuilding programme.

The Government says its investment at Torbay Hospital in Torquay will see a new smaller acute hospital for urgent and emergency care. There will also be a separate new unit for planned specialist care and surgery, known as ‘elective’ procedures. The announcement of funding from the £3.7billion Health Infrastructure Plan includes money for a joint planned care unit for the North, East and South of Devon.

A statement said the services at Torbay would be “underpinned” by an electronic patient record system and “technology enabled care”.

The 40 hospitals listed for funding include a rebuild of North Devon Hospital at Barnstaple, and a new emergency care hospital at Derriford in Plymouth.

The three Devon schemes are among 25 in the second wave of the programme of investment and are expected to be built by 2030.

The announcement was welcomed on Monday by the Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Torbay Hospital.

A spokesperson said: “The planning is still at a very early stage and will be subject to engagement and consultation with our staff, our partners and our communities before we can confirm details. We will then draw up a strategic outline case, supported by the funding. Our intention is to develop services which will support improved access to diagnostics, improvements to urgent and emergency care environments and separate planned care units. We will not just be rebuilding Torbay Hospital. We are planning a fundamental review of the ways that we support the people of Torbay and South Devon to live healthier lives and how we provide care when they need it. That will include a new system for shared electronic records and the use of new technological methods of communication and treatment.”

Torbay’s Conservative MP Kevin Foster welcomed the news.

He said: “When the Prime Minister visited Torbay Hospital last year he heard first hand from staff about the work they do and the difference this major investment project could make in transforming NHS services here in the bay.

“I am therefore delighted confirmation has now been given this project will progress and not only see the largest investment in our bay’s health services since the creation of the NHS in 1948, but also help our economy build back better after the impact of the Covid-19.”

In the latest grading from the Care Quality Commission, the trust was rated as Good, but the hospital dropped from Good to Requires Improvement.

Managers said problems included ageing buildings, inadequate facilities and equipment, issues with training and staff shortages.

The cost of rebuilding Torbay Hospital has been estimated at around £400million. Meanwhile a £13million redevelopment of the Emergency Department was given planning permission last year and a £12million new mental health ward was approved in May. The trust says its share of the £3.7billion funding will “support improved access to diagnostics, improvements to urgent and emergency care environments and separate planned care units.”


Article originally appeared on Devon Live

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