Rachel’s lobbying efforts have paid off after the Department for Health & Social Care approved Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust’s bid for £8million to increase bed capacity.

Rachel has been lobbying Health Ministers hard ever since the Trust submitted their bid to the Department last month.

The £8million, a further advance on the capital funding promised to the Trust in 2017, will be used to accelerate the refurbishment of the Aconbury East Building at Worcestershire Royal Hospital. This will now enable the Trust to provide an additional 40 acute beds ahead of next Winter.

So far, in part to Rachel’s lobbying efforts, the Acute Trust has received £16million from the capital funding pot. Back in February of this year, the Department released £3million to the Trust to construct a link bridge between the main Worcestershire Royal building and the Aconbury East Building.

The Trust’s bid to draw down a further £5million from the capital funding pot was also recently approved by the Department. This will be spent on several emergency projects, including improving the safety of the Trust’s estate to enhance the quality of patient services.

In total, £8.1million of the £29.6million capital funding will be spent on the Alexandra Hospital. This will be spent on improvements to the elective care centre, endoscopy, children’s outpatients and an upgrade in theatres.

And, although the Trust has now received £16million out of the total £29.6million it was promised, Rachel is once again urging Trust bosses to get on and submit their full business case for the remaining funding.

Rachel said: “This is extremely good news for the Trust and for the people of Redditch. This vital funding will be used to increase bed capacity at the Worcestershire Royal, which in turn means patients will be seen and treated more quickly. And just as importantly it will help to reduce pressures on A&E ahead of next Winter.

“I lobbied Health Ministers hard for this money because I know how vital this further investment is into our local hospitals.

“I know this isn’t a silver bullet, and it won’t solve all of the Trust’s problems, but this funding will go a long way in helping the Trust to improve the services it provides for the people of Redditch and Worcestershire.

“I want to see the Alex become a centre of excellence, and that’s what the £29.6million will be used for. This investment will be used to support the Trust’s vision for the Alex to provide high quality elective care services, now and long into the future. Our town’s hospital has a bright future.

“The Trust now needs to get on and submit their full business case to the Department in order to access the remaining funding it was promised last year. Once the bid is in I will immediately be lobbying Health Ministers to approve it as soon as they possibly can. It took the Department just three weeks to approve the Trust’s bid for £8million, so I’m confident the Department will be pretty sharpish in approving the Trust’s full business case.”