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Mayor Andy Street urges Government to fund £36m A&E department – Birmingham Post

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West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has urged the Government back plans for a new £36.2 million accident and emergency department at Walsall Manor Hospital.

He wrote to Health Secretary Matt Hancock to express “concern at the current state of affairs” at the hospital.

But he said the new A&E department could be up and running in 2021 if the Government provided the cash.

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Mr Street, a Conservative, said in the letter: “Our hospital in Walsall is in particular need of attention following recent developments.”

Walsall Heathcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, is struggling to meet growing demand for accident and emergency services, and the situation is made even harder because the facilities are out of date.

It has asked for £36.2 million to redevelop the emergency department. The money could come from £3.9 billion in capital funding for the NHS which the Government has promised to provide by 2023.

Mr Street told the Health Secretary: “The Emergency Department is part of an older and much smaller hospital estate and, as a result, is frequently overcrowded.

“This is having a negative impact on the quality of care afforded to patients and the working conditions for staff.”

Walsall Manor Hospital

National NHS managers are currently evaluating the Trust’s proposals, but Mr Street asked the Health Secretary to intervene personally.

He said: “I hope that you will be able to look personally at what we believe is a strong and special case with the view to securing the funding for Walsall.

“If an agreement on funding can be reached in good time, we should be able to begin work on the project by the end of the next calendar year and improve emergency care for Walsall residents by October 2021.”

Prime Minister Theresa May told the House of Commons in September that a decision was expected in Autumn this year.

She said: “I understand that the Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust has resubmitted an application for the £36.2 million of funding in July for the Walsall Manor Hospital emergency department. The Department of Health and Social Care expects the successful schemes to be announced in the autumn.”

Mrs May was responding to a question from Walsall North MP Eddie Hughes (Con), who is asking the Government to provide the money.

He said today: “The hospital needs increased capacity.

“If you see the A&E department, it’s really congested. It’s an inappropriate working space for the staff, who do a great job there.

“The redevelopment will improve capacity, improve patient care and give hard-working staff a better working environment.”

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