Health secretary Sajid Javid makes unannounced visit to Doncaster Royal Infirmary

Government health secretary Sajid Javid has made an unannounced visit to Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

By Darren Burke
Wednesday, 16th February 2022, 9:42 am

Mr Javid visited Doncaster yesterday to meet with local health professionals and discuss future plans for the NHS.

Met by Richard Parker, Chief Executive of Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, Suzy Brain England, Chair of the Board and Dame Rosie Winterton, MP for Doncaster Central, the Secretary of State toured a newly developed extension to the site’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital which opened in December 2021, and includes two inpatient areas and a theatre unit.

He also heard first-hand about the Trust’s plans for an Urgent and Emergency Care Village at Bassetlaw Hospital, in Worksop, plans for which are currently under consultation following an investment of £17.6 million and, if approved, will see the return of short-stay paediatric care to the site.

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Sajid Javid with Richard Parker at DRI.

Additionally, he discussed the organisation’s plans to increase diagnostic capacity, to help reduce the backlog caused by the pandemic, as well as taking the time to speak with a number of colleagues from a range of specialities within the hospital.

Speaking about the visit, the Mr Javid said: “It was excellent to end day two of my Road to Recovery tour at Doncaster Royal Infirmary – specifically seeing the newly developed extension to the site’s women’s and children’s hospital.

“Their Montagu Hospital site has also been chosen to host one of two community diagnostic centres within South Yorkshire as part of our plans to roll out at least 100 across the country to help millions of patients get earlier access to tests, diagnoses and treatment - helping us to tackle the COVID-19 backlog.

“The Trust is doing excellent work to improve the lives of patients in the region – with a new Urgent and Emergency Care Village in Worksop planned and the separate work it is doing to expand capacity cancer diagnosis, which is a vital part of our national war on cancer.”

The Health Secretary toured the hospital.

In early 2020, following £4.9 million funding, a new CT Suite was developed and opened at Doncaster Royal Infirmary. At the time of its construction, local demand for this form of diagnostic test had increased by 70% over the preceding five years, a figure which has only risen since. Since it’s opening, the new suite allows for an additional 36,000 scans a year across both Doncaster and North Nottinghamshire and its co-location to the nearby Emergency Department has further enhanced its capabilities.

In order to expand this capacity further, DBTH was selected as one of two trusts within the region to host a ‘Community Diagnostic Centre’, based at the organisation’s Montagu Hospital the CDC will receive a portion of the £3 million of funding available. Phase one of the project is now complete with the installation of CT and MRI scanner facilities and it is estimated that by the end of March almost 4,000 patients will have been seen by this new service.

Speaking about the visit, Mr Parker said: “The past two years have been incredibly challenging, and we have welcomed the opportunity to show the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care around our hospital, highlighting the tireless work of our colleagues, as well as underlining the benefits investment has brought to our site throughout this time, how it will help us in our recovery and how we can further improve in the future.

“Like the rest of the NHS, we have a significant amount of work ahead of us to catch-up with the backlog of activity which has accumulated since 2020, whilst also ensuring we have the appropriate capacity available to care for those who are in need of urgent care – however I believe our team at DBTH are more than up to the challenge.”

Sajid Javid met up with Richard Parker, Suzy Brain England and Doncaster Central MP Dame Rosie Winterton.

As one of Yorkshire’s leading acute trusts, DBTH serves a population of more than 440,000 across South Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire and the surrounding areas. Employing over 6,600 people across three main hospital sites, the Trust is one of only a handful of Teaching Hospitals in Yorkshire, training 25% of all medical students in the region as well as 30% of all other clinical professions.