£10million upgrade for Gloucestershire hospitals

Gloucestershire’s NHS Hospital Trust is being awarded an extra £10m following the intervention of Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk.

The funding will support modernisation works, theatre improvements and major equipment upgrades. The cash windfall comes on top of a £40million boost awarded to the Trust last year.

Mr Chalk had been actively lobbying the Health Secretary in support of the Trust’s application. He regularly champions Cheltenham Hospital in Parliament, even raising it during Prime Minister’s Question Time.

He said: “I’ve been working closely with the Trust on their application. This extra cash gives us the chance to build on last year’s major investment. The equipment upgrades and continuing modernisation programme will be a big boost for local health provision. There has been frenetic work behind the scenes to get to this point, ranging from a barrage of emails to Department of Health officials to MPs pressing the case in person with the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock. I know that local Trust managers have put in great deal of work too, and I am very grateful for their efforts.

“So what will the cash go on? Over £1 million will be spent refurbishing Cheltenham’s Apollo theatre, with another £1.5 million allocated for the replacement of ageing medical equipment. £1.5 million will go on a new information management and technology platform and £2.5 million on rolling out a modern electronic patient record. There’s also £150,000 for ward improvement work and £265,000 for a ventilation scheme for Cheltenham’s theatres.

 “I am particularly delighted that £250,000 will be spent on OPMAS - the replacement chemotherapy prescribing system. This will simplify a complex task. For instance it will automatically calculate dosages according to the patient’s height and weight. There will be a reduction in transcribing and calculation errors, and precious time will be saved. It all helps in making Cheltenham a regional centre of excellence for cancer treatment.

Mr Chalk added: “Cancer is now the single biggest cause of death in Gloucestershire. Cheltenham has just secured funding for a second LINAC cancer treatment machine. Getting the OPMAS system in place will be another major boost for our brilliant oncology team.”