Milestone reached on The Royal Oldham Hospital £28m expansion

Royal Oldham expansion
Milestone reached on The Royal Oldham Hospital £28m expansion
06 August 2020

The Northern Care Alliance NHS Group and its partners are celebrating a major milestone in its plans to provide The Royal Oldham Hospital with a £28million extension. Oldham Council’s Planning Committee has approved the building of a four-storey extension on the hospital site, with no objections.

Council Committee members complimented the design and plans in place for The Royal Oldham site and voted unanimously in favour of the application, with a final decision around Government funding and timescales expected from the Treasury in due course.

The new-build plans show how the extension would incorporate two new 24 bedded general surgery wards as well as a brand new emergency theatre, within the current theatres unit with supporting accommodation, enhanced recovery area and central storage, allowing The Royal Oldham Hospital to operate as the specialist hub site for high risk and emergency general and colorectal surgery, for the north east of Greater Manchester. 

The new facility will sit adjacent to the main hospital building, on the site of K Block, which will be demolished as part of the works. The building will provide accommodation over 4 floors, with pedestrian access, plant space and future expansion space on Level B1 (lower ground floor), a 24 bed ward on Level 0, a 24 bed ward on Level 1, and storage / ancillary space on Level 2 (which will also provide future expansion space). A rooftop plant room will be provided at Level 3. The new extension will link back to the existing main hospital building in two locations on each level.

Public consultation on the new build took place in November 2019, and a main contractor for the capital works, IHP, has been selected. Once started, it is anticipated that the programme of works will take 20-24 months to complete.

Nicola Firth, Director of Nursing and Chief Officer at The Royal Oldham Hospital, thanked the staff, patients, public and other colleagues across Oldham and Greater Manchester for their support in getting the plans to this stage.

She said: “If our business case for the investment is approved by Government, the new surgical hub will provide much needed medical expertise to the people of the north east of Greater Manchester. It will also enable further developments at The Royal Oldham, which will advance our ambitions to provide care and employment to the people of Oldham and beyond.”

Dr Nick Tierney, Anaesthetist and Divisional Clinical Director for Surgery at the hospital, added: “The news that the plans have met the expectations of our local planning committee and that we are another step closer to starting this work is very encouraging for our clinical and surgical teams and our patients. Having a new state of the art theatre for emergency and colorectal surgery will allow our surgeons to perform at the highest possible level with positive benefits in the quality of care and treatment delivered to our patients.”

Mike Barker, Chief Operating Officer at NHS Oldham CCG, said: “I am pleased to see the plans for the expansion of The Royal Oldham Hospital have been approved so far, it will be great to see such investment in the area. This expansion will not only bring in specialist medical knowledge and care to the local area but there will be a variety of employment opportunities for the people of Oldham and wider communities.

“The fact that the new specialist hub will be based in Oldham, but will be providing high risk and emergency general and colorectal surgery for patients across the whole of the north east of Greater Manchester, is something to be really proud of.”

The Royal Oldham development is one of two exciting schemes that the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group has received planning permission for. At the Group’s Salford Royal site, construction work is due to start soon on the six-storey Acute Receiving Centre (ARC). This centre will be home to Salford Royal’s trauma centre, which treats patients who have experienced life changing or life threatening injuries, for example, after a serious road traffic accident or fall. The ARC will also be the hub site for complex general surgery across Bolton, Salford and Wigan.

The new building brings 72 new in-patient beds, five new theatres and other new facilities including treatment rooms and X-ray areas. Crucially, the building will have a helipad so trauma patients can receive even faster access to highly specialised, life-saving treatment. Planning permission for the development was received from Salford City Council in December 2019. The Salford Royal development is also awaiting investment approval from the Treasury.