£ 350million hospital plan to provide ‘fit for purpose’ facilities and see major expansion


James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough could be in line for a major £ 350million expansion with the addition of two new regional centers, the Local Democracy Reporting Service can reveal.

Bosses believe the plans, which focus on maternity and pediatric services and major trauma and intensive care, would provide ‘fit for purpose’ facilities and keep pace with the high levels of specialized and complex care already on offer. on the Marton Road site.

They won all-party support from Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald of Labor and Conservative Simon Clarke, who represents Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland.

Read more: For more information on the James Cook Hospital, click here

An “expression of interest” was submitted to the government as part of a selection process that began in July to build eight new hospitals.

The government aims to build 40 new hospitals in total by 2030 in what it claims to be the ‘biggest hospital building program in a generation’, backed by an initial investment of £ 3.7 billion .

The South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is seeking £ 350million to establish the Erimus Teesside and North Yorkshire Center for Women and Children, which would also include a regional cochlear implant center.

A second center, potentially built at the southwest corner of the James Cook site, would focus on major trauma and intensive care and also support cancer and other specialist services.

Rob Harrison, Managing Director of the South Tees Trust, said: “These plans would provide buildings to meet the needs of the services already provided to James Cook.”

Rob Harrison, Managing Director of South Tees Hospitals Trust

James Cook University Hospital already offers more than 40 different specialties, two-thirds of which provide care not only to patients in Middlesbrough, but across Teesside, North Yorkshire and the wider region.

A regional trauma center was established in 2013 and receives 47% of all trauma cases in the Northeast, enabling patients to receive specialist and rehabilitation services in one location through emergency medicine, intensive care, radiology, neurosurgery, neuroradiology, orthopedics, surgical teams, cardiothoracic, spinal trauma, plastic surgery and maxillofacial surgery.

But a spokesperson for the trust said there was an “investment case” in a new construction center.

He said, for example, that the hospital’s radiology department, which diagnoses and monitors a range of illnesses and conditions from fractures to blood clots and gastrointestinal conditions, was built when plain film x-rays were used as the main diagnostic tool.

“These used machines no bigger than a filing cabinet, now the MRI and CT machines we use are the same size as a family car, the spokesperson said.

He added that the hospital’s current maternity ward, which is over 40 years old and would be replaced as part of the plans, had grown too large for its current home to such an extent that the neonatal unit was housed in a modular building. temporary.

The spokesperson said: “The covid-19 pandemic has shown once again that our clinicians are among the best in the country.

“However, James Cook’s facilities – bricks and mortar – haven’t always kept pace.

“A successful bid under the £ 350million health infrastructure plan would allow the physical infrastructure to catch up with the high levels of specialist and complex care already provided to James Cook.”

Mr. McDonald of Labor said: “It is imperative that the James Cook Hospital receives this investment.

Andy McDonald MP (left) and Simon Clarke MP
Andy McDonald MP (left) and Simon Clarke MP (right)

“It is important for our local communities and the region as a whole to enable its buildings to catch up with the highly specialized care provided by its clinicians.

“The hospital is a specialized regional tertiary care, cancer and trauma center that serves patients across our region and needs buildings suitable for the vitally important care it provides.

Conservative Clarke added: “I am always in favor of new investments at James Cook.

“This is an excellent hospital that serves our entire region very well and has exceptional facilities.

“I look forward to working with the hospital as they develop this offer and present it to the government. “

The selection process will prioritize service plans that ‘transform joint care for people and provide an efficient working environment for NHS staff’, as well as ‘stronger and greener’ NHS buildings that use modern construction methods as well as a durable and efficient design.

The next step after expressions of interest will see hospital program projects submitted by “long-listed” trusts later in the year.

A final decision on the eight hospital plans to be funded is expected by the spring of next year.

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