Plans to create new surgical facilities for patients at Hinchingbrooke Hospital NHS Trust have reached a significant milestone, following national approval of an outline business case to construct a new purpose-built operating theatres block.
The national decision enabling the trust to proceed to the final stage of the business case process marks an important next step in this redevelopment project. The approval takes the trust a step closer to starting work on the theatre block development which will house seven operating theatres, recovery and admission facilities, and a separate area for children.
This project is the second part of a three-phase redevelopment scheme to replace the old building and modernise Hinchingbrooke Hospital, which is run by North West Anglia NHS FT. This substantial investment demonstrates the important long-term role the hospital will play in the provision of acute hospital care within the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough healthcare system.
Phase 1 of the project was completed on time and within budget before Christmas 2020, and has seen major improvements being made to facilities for patients using Urgent Care Services. Facilities such as the Acute Assessment Unit, Ambulatory Care Unit, and an expanded Accident and Emergency Department were all created as part of the plan.
Arshiya Khan, Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer for North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, who is leading the redevelopment programme, said: “These are exciting times for our hospital and we are pleased to have gained national support for our Outline Business Case for our theatre redevelopment. We are now working on developing this further to create a full business case for Phase 2 of this project to gain final approval to commence construction.
“While we are working on Phase 2, our eyes are firmly on Phase 3 as we seek to secure urgently-needed investment to support the longer-term plan to ensure our hospital can continue to provide high quality care for our growing population, both now and in the future.”
The new facility will reflect modern surgical practice and embraces the latest thinking on operating theatre design. This will replace the theatres in the main hospital building, which are coming to the end of their operational life.
The application to build the block is currently being reviewed by planners at Huntingdon District Council, and positive feedback has already been received. The trust will now develop the full business case.
Following central approval of the case, the intention is to commence construction in Autumn 2021.
Roland Sinker and Jan Thomas, Joint Accountable Officers for the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Integrated Care System, said: “Improving our NHS facilities to meet the needs of the local community is of critical importance to the new Integrated Care System. By working together to identify and agree key investments, such as this one, we can deliver a better service, and better health outcomes, for our local people.”