7 Aug 2023
Health Minister Lord Nick Markham CBE and the national New Hospital Programme (NHP) team visited North Devon District Hospital on Wednesday 2 August to meet with colleagues, patients and stakeholders.
They toured the hospital, discussed the national vision for NHP, and learned more about the Trust’s ambitions for futureproofing healthcare in North Devon as part of the programme.
Following the visit Lord Markham, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department of Health and Social Care commented: “Thank you to everyone for the warm welcome to North Devon. It was great to be able to visit to understand more about the hospital and local area.
“I was particularly struck by the passion shown by the staff I met, which was on a whole other level and the affection patients and the local community have for the hospital and its staff.
“I was impressed with what I saw on the tour including the new discharge hub which is already making a big difference to patients and shows how creative the team are with the space they have.”
During the visit Lord Markham and his team provided an overview of the NHP including how a standardised build would be approached and the potential benefits they hope to realise as well as what new national requirements will look like.
In May Steve Barclay, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, announced that the Government has set aside a significant envelope of more than £20bn for the programme, with continuous investment beyond 2030.
He confirmed that the Government remains committed to NDDH as part of the programme in cohort 4, and indicated that we can progress with phase 1 of its scheme, to develop new staff accommodation and to start enabling works to the hospital site.
Dame Shan Morgan, Chair of the Royal Devon welcomed Lord Markham to NDDH and joined him in the conversations with patients, staff and stakeholders. She said: “We are hugely positive that the Government are committed to investing in the future of NDDH so it can continue to offer high quality care to the people of North Devon in the years to come. The early investment in our staff accommodation is a significant first step, helping us in our ambitions to be a great place to work.
“We’d like to thank Lord Markham and the NHP team for visiting NDDH to learn more about our scheme and the challenges we face locally.”
The Royal Devon will work closely with the NHP team over the next few months to consider the options available following the increase in funding announced by Steve Barclay in May.
Selaine Saxby, Member of Parliament for North Devon said: “I was delighted to welcome Lord Markham and his ministerial team to our hospital, and I warmly welcome the funding to ensure keyworker housing is rapidly progressed. The hospital team do a fantastic job with the facilities available, but to retain the best health teams we need to have infrastructure that matches.
The highest priority at this time is building better housing, very rapidly, so we can recruit the much needed, additional staff to North Devon. Housing remains a critical issue for far too many people in North Devon and securing housing for our healthcare workers is vital to secure the future of the hospital.
The plans for the new hospital itself are still evolving which will deliver for the local population long into the future and our hospital team here have an exceptional record of delivering infrastructure projects to a very high standard on time and on budget. I very much hope that this project with now progress at pace and I will continue to work with all involved, as needed, to ensure we can deliver our future hospital here in North Devon.”
Picture shows NDDH tour as part of the visit.
Left to right picture shows: Dame Shan Morgan, Royal Devon Chair; Adrian Harris, Royal Devon Chief Medical Officer; Lord Nick Markham; Selaine Saxby MP; Karen Davies, Royal Devon Medical Director – Northern services; Heather Brazier, Royal Devon Director of Operations – Northern services; Marsh Pullen, Royal Devon Our Future Hospital Capital Projects Manager.
Last updated: August 08, 2023