De­light at in­vest­ment in hospi­tal

Gloucestershire Echo - - LETTERS & OPINION - Alex Chalk Con­ser­va­tive MP for Chel­tenham

MORE in­vest­ment for Chel­tenham Gen­eral Hospi­tal. Last week I was de­lighted to visit the £2m+ Apollo the­atre at CGH, just days be­fore it opened to NHS pa­tients.

This fa­cil­ity is as good as you’ll find any­where in the world.

It in­cludes a so­phis­ti­cated ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem that pumps ul­tra-fil­tered air into the the­atre, re­duc­ing the risk of post-operative in­fec­tions.

The ad­join­ing room for anaes­thetic pro­ce­dures has been ex­panded and mod­ernised too, im­prov­ing the en­vi­ron­ment for pa­tients and staff.

This is great news for any­one who needs an or­thopaedic pro­ce­dure, such as a knee or hip re­place­ment.

Pa­tients will now come from across the county to re­ceive ex­pert care in our town.

It also helps with some­thing I am strongly com­mit­ted to – se­cur­ing

CGH’S sta­tus as a truly gen­eral hospi­tal. It’s a morale boost for lo­cal NHS staff too.

The money comes from a £10m Gov­ern­ment cap­i­tal grant, over and above the £39m al­lo­cated to Glouces­ter­shire Hos­pi­tals last year.

I was asked to help with un­lock­ing that £10m when progress with of­fi­cials stalled, and it in­volved a lot of time work­ing be­hind the scenes at the De­part­ment of Health, and then lob­by­ing di­rectly the Health Sec­re­tary, Matt Han­cock.

So I’m de­lighted that we got this over the line.

I‘m very grate­ful to lo­cal NHS staff who put in a great deal of work to get to this point, draft­ing and back­ing the bid.

Win­ning this in­vest­ment is just one as­pect of the cam­paign­ing work to se­cure our hospi­tal’s fu­ture.

On the is­sue of where gen­eral (ie gas­tro-in­testi­nal) surgery ser­vices are to be lo­cated in fu­ture, I have writ­ten this week to the Trust man­agers with con­struc­tive pro­pos­als that would end the stand-off from ear­lier this year, whilst se­cur­ing Chel­tenham Gen­eral for the long-term.

It’s in ev­ery­one’s in­ter­ests to get this re­solved and move on to a bright fu­ture for CGH.

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