In Westminster, I have called on the Government to back a bid from Musgrove Park Hospital (MPH) to upgrade their outdated surgery facilities. As part of ongoing improvement works across the hospital site, MPH has put in a bid to the Department of Health and NHS Transformation to build a £79.5million Surgical Centre.
I was granted an End of Day Adjournment Debate by the Speaker in January 2018, to make the case to Health Minister, Steve Barclay.
During my speech I highlighted the urgent need to upgrade the existing facilities which are housed in pre-1948 buildings built by American Forces as a temporary hospital for the D-Day landings. The buildings were not designed for the provision of 21st century healthcare, and are struggling to accommodate the escalating demand for the services provided within them. Despite challenging conditions patient care at MPH was recently rated as ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission.
MPH has now submitted an outline business case to NHS Transformation following the Government announcement in the Autumn Budget of a £3.5billion of new capital investment fund for hospital buildings and infrastructure.
During the debate, Minister of State for the Department of Health, Steve Barclay told me:
‘In securing this Adjournment debate, my hon. Friend, as she so often does, has put the case for Taunton Deane. As the Minister responsible, I recognise the importance of the issue both to her and to the community, and I look forward to continued discussions with her as we seek to progress the situation and ensure the best possible care for Taunton Deane and the surrounding area.’
‘I was delighted to be granted this debate. I wanted to be clear that whilst the dedicated staff at MPH do excellent work and have been rated outstanding for care, they are struggling in antiquated buildings comprise the critical care and endoscopy units. This was a welcome opportunity to bring this starkly to the Minister attention and to make a strong case for funding to develop a state-of-the-art new surgical and endoscopy centre.
I have raised this with the Secretary of State for Health himself on several visits he has made to Taunton. The world class care offered at MPH should be matched by world class facilities. I am hopeful that this will be looked upon favourably and was encouraged by the response from the Minister. Without this new centre the long-term sustainability of emergency care, critical care and diagnostic screening is at critical risk of failure.
I am launching a local campaign to help demonstrate public support for this bid to the Department of Health which includes a petition which I will present to the House of Commons.”
Update: 28th March 2018
Today, the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP announced that Musgrove Park Hospital’s £79m funding bid for a new Surgical Centre has been successful.
I am thrilled at this news, as this has been very much a joint effort between myself and Musgrove and I am delighted that the hard work has paid off. This new facility will serve not just people from Taunton Deane but from the whole Somerset area and indeed the wider SW region. My petition showed huge support from so many across Taunton Deane, demonstrating the strength of feeling locally for this much needed project and I am so proud that this important project has been allocated this welcome Government funding.
In the media:
Government funds Musgrove's £79.5m surgical centre, Somerset County Gazette, Wednesday 28 March
New Surgical Centre For Musgrove Park, Heart FM, Wednesday 28 March
Musgrove hopes for Government cash for £79.5m centre, Somerset County Gazette, Monday 26 March
View from Westminster: Sign up to support new surgical centre, Wellington Weekly News, Tuesday 6 March
Proposals for £79.5 million surgical centre at Taunton's Musgrove Park Hospital, Somerset County Gazette, Thursday 15 February
Rebecca Pow MP makes case for new surgical unit at Taunton's Musgrove Park Hospital in House of Commons debate, Somerset County Gazette, Saturday 20 January
Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, prepares bid for £79.5 million Government cash for surgical centre, Somerset County Gazette, Wednesday 17 January