Bassetlaw Hospital's £17m upgrade gets backing of councillors - and is set to be finished by summer 2024

A new £17.6m Emergency Village at Bassetlaw Hospital which will include a mini children’s hospital has moved forward after councillors and residents backed the plans.

By Anna Whittaker, Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 30th March 2022, 4:34 pm

The current children’s ward at the hospital in Worksop was closed to overnight admissions in 2017 for safety reasons related to staffing.

Funding and three possible solutions were put forward, including one featuring a new ‘Emergency Village’ including a mini children’s hospital.

The health scrutiny committee at Nottinghamshire County Council unanimously agreed this plan as the best way forward when it met on March 29.

An artist impression of the improvements at Bassetlaw Hospital, in Worksop.

A consultation on the ideas, which ran from December to February, showed 84 per cent of almost 2,000 survey respondents also supported option three.

It features a unit with six overnight short stay beds, eight assessment spaces and a further one or two treatment rooms. This would mean that between 15 and 16 children and young people could receive care in the unit at any one time.

The other options were to keep the current temporary arrangement or build a unit which closes after 9pm.

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The current temporary model means hundreds of children every year have to be transferred to Doncaster Royal Infirmary – and make the 20 mile journey – if they require an overnight stay.

Some councillors raised concerns about the staffing of the new unit, but they were reassured new roles and international recruitment means it would be fully staffed once opened.

Conservative councillor Callum Bailey said: “Many of us in Bassetlaw know the impact of the hospital and this consultation doesn’t surprise any of us.

“I am very pleased that this consultation says what everyone else was thinking.

“I really do hope that this puts to bed Labour claims that the hospital is at risk.

" This is investment coming in, let’s be positive about it and welcome the fact that we’re going to be an increased service as a result of it.”

Labour councillor Glynn Gilfoyle added: “There are concerns that Bassetlaw could become a cottage hospital which is not what we want.

“I welcome the £17.6m but in reality, it’s bricks and mortar. What concerns me is the biggest issue which is facing the NHS, which is staffing.

“What revenue commitment is being given to enable adequate staffing? Clearly, the reason why the original move was made was because we hadn’t got adequate staffing.

“Clearly if you haven’t got the people to put in it, it’s of no use. We’ll just have a nice building.”

Idris Griffiths, accountable officer, for the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, which plans local health services, said: “We have conducted an extensive consultation programme.

“It provided an opportunity to address the quite long-standing temporary change in the paediatric ward.

“It provided an opportunity for a long-term solution for a much improved paediatric urgent care service going forward.”

But Mr Griffiths added: “We are still trying to manage expectations. £17.6m isn’t a new hospital, but it is a key, really fundamental development that will give us long term stability for urgent care services and paediatrics.”

Chief nurse at Bassetlaw Hospital, David Purdue said: “If you look at attendances for children coming into the emergency department, that drops dramatically after 10pm and is virtually non-existent after midnight.

“We’ve got new roles which we haven’t used in paediatrics before. We are just about to start our first international recruitment for paediatrics.

“By the time this opens, we will have the right establishment.”

The work is expected to complete by summer 2024.

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