Mar 05th 2012

The case for the new hospital

The areas of Sandwell and the west of Birmingham suffer from some of the highest levels of deprivation in the country.  This has a direct effect on the health of the community. 

  • Men and women live three to four years less than the national average
  • Infant mortality rates are high, and in some places twice the national average
  • One in five people has a long-term illness which affects their daily life
  • There are health variations across the area; generally black and minority ethnic groups have poorer health than others.

Our existing hospitals need substantial maintenance.  City Hospital was originally built in 1887 as a workhouse infirmary, with all of the current inpatient wards dating from this period.  Sandwell General Hospital was also originally a workhouse infirmary, though the main clinical areas date from the 1970s.  Barely 1 in 20 of the beds at City Hospital is in a single room, making the control of infections difficult.

The Trust set out strategic and business cases to deliver improved physical, mental and social wellbeing, describing the need to redesign the whole health and social care system. This requires a major change in service provision, and a substantial transfer of care into community and primary care settings and a significant improvement in performance in acute hospital services.

It is essential that acute hospital services at Sandwell and City Hospitals be centralised in one, fit-for-purpose location to enable services to be better located in the community and to provide overall improved care.

The Midland Metropolitan Hospital will improve training and education facilities for clinical staff and boost jobs in the local area – not only in healthcare but also in work associated with the hospital development such as construction. The development would bring significant regenerative benefits to Smethwick and the wider area, especially with the possibility of spin-off developments associated with the health industry.

The flagship building will become the civic heart of the area and a point of pride for the community, helping to inspire new confidence in the area and major new public and private investment.

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