TODAY marks the start of a £10m project to bring more services to a health campus.
The chief executive of Solent NHS Trust as well as other dignitaries were due to visit St Mary’s Hospital, in Portsmouth, for the ground breaking ceremony this morning.
It will be the beginning of a 13-month project to bring services from St James’ Hospital to the Milton site – creating a health hub to improve access to treatment within the city.
The development work comes after Solent was given £10.3m from the Department of Health and Social Care. It is one of three investments NHS organisations in Portsmouth have received from the government since May.
Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, has been given £5.5m towards building two new state-of-the-art theatres and making improvements to its emergency department.
Politicians in the city have welcomed the cash injection to vital services but said more can be done.
Penny Mordaunt, MP for Portsmouth North, said: ‘This money is good news and shows people can have confidence in local health plans. The new facilities will improve the patient experience and give a better working environment for staff.
‘I would like other facilities to also be updated, and am pushing Portsmouth CCG to invest in partnership in a Cosham health and aging hub.’
Portsmouth South Labour MP Stephen Morgan also welcomed the investment but agreed more is needed. He said: ‘NHS services in Portsmouth have been stretched to breaking point. Staff working around the clock in exceptionally difficult circumstances deserve better.
‘These important investments are a welcome starting point after the winter crisis.
‘However, there is still much more the government needs to do, not just to improve local infrastructure but in staff recruitment and retention, as well as tackling the wider social care crisis to avoid further burdens on our NHS.’
The chief executive of Solent Sue Harriman said she is excited to see the major refurbishment at St Mary’s Hospital finally start.
She added: ‘Through the creation of a Portsmouth community hub, Solent and partners are not only meeting the expectations our service users have for a modern, accessible environment, we are also future proofing the health system.
‘We are ensuring we reach even more people, throughout more stages of their lives.’
As previously reported the work, known as Phase 2, will see the older persons mental health community team, physiotherapy department and out-patient therapies move from St James’ Hospital to St Mary’s Hospital.
They will be situated in Block B which will get a new entrance and reception.
A new pharmacy will also be based there while Block C will eventually become a research centre.