£5.6m expansion plan for Newark Hospital welcomed
Patients needing certain operations will get treatment faster thanks to a £5.6million project that will create new and improved theatres at Newark Hospital.
An extra 2,600 operations and procedures are expected to take place each year as a result of a new state-of-the-art theatre and recovery area and the development of two minor operations suites.
The Newark Elective Hub will significantly reduce waiting times, improve patient experience, as well as create new jobs for nursing and healthcare staff.
Expansion of the Newark Hospital site will help to address health inequalities by providing services locally for patients who would previously have had to travel further afield for treatment.
Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which manages the hospital, was awarded the money after a successful bid to NHS England’s Targeted Investment Fund (TIF).
NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care Board (ICB) is seeking support from Nottinghamshire County Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee, which is due to consider the proposals on 10 January 2023.
The project will create extra capacity in elective (non-urgent) care for urology and ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgery, which have the greatest backlogs. In addition, it will also enable clinically-appropriate procedures to be moved out of the theatres into minor operations suites to free up space for bigger procedures, in line with national initiatives.
Preparation work is expected to start early in 2023, with the theatre expected to be on site in spring and in use from the summer.
As part of the project, the existing minor operations suite on Minster Ward will be lined with lead, and have an air handling unit installed to filter, heat, cool and condition the air. This will enable procedures such as cataract removal and injections guided by X-rays to take place there rather than in a theatre.
Additional minor operations, which could include bladder investigations, prostate biopsies and injections for eye conditions, will take place in the current Outpatient Treatment room.
The funding will also provide new theatre equipment and storage space, as well as extra changing and rest facilities for staff.
The project is in-line with the Trust’s strategy to maximise the potential of Newark Hospital for local residents and ensure it’s a valued and vibrant community asset.
David Ainsworth, the Director of Strategy and Partnerships for Sherwood Forest Hospitals and who oversees the Trust’s running of Newark Hospital, said: “We know how much residents value Newark Hospital and we are committed to making best use of the site and further improving the services we provide and the speed in which people can access them.
“This project will enable us to carry out more procedures in Newark, making it much more convenient for patients to get the care they need and help them get back to living fuller lives, faster – without having to travel to King’s Mill or further afield.
“We are really keen for as many residents as possible to benefit from the wide range of procedures and services provided at Newark Hospital, so don’t forget to ‘Ask for Newark’ at the point of referral with your GP or when speaking to your hospital team.”
Cllr Sue Saddington, pictured, Chairman of the Health Scrutiny Committee, said: “This is very much welcome news and I am sure the residents of Newark, who speak very highly of the hospital, will be delighted to hear about this wide-ranging expansion project.
“£5.6million is a substantial investment and I am delighted they are bringing these vital services to Newark, which is a very good and efficient hospital, and means patients who live in the town will no longer have to travel elsewhere in Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire for treatment and certain operations.
“This is something we, as a Health Scrutiny Committee, have been asking for and I am extremely happy with the level of commitment being shown by Sherwood Forest Hospitals to deliver a project which will be an asset for Newark and its people.
“I look forward to discussing the exciting proposals with my colleagues on the Health Scrutiny Committee when we meet early in the new year.”
In the past two years, Sherwood Forest Hospitals has invested £5million in services provided at Newark Hospital.
The hospital runs several outpatient clinics, provides children’s services, a women’s centre with community-based midwives, therapy services, sexual health clinics, phlebotomy and pre-operative assessment services, and carries out hip and knee operations.
This is all in addition to the Urgent Treatment Centre, which provides same-day care and treatment of minor injuries and illnesses.