Another doctors’ house to be refurbished at PRH for doctors thanks to community
Another doctors’ house at the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford is to be refurbished thanks to donations from the community, which have reached more than £30,000.
Three doctors’ houses are in the process of being renovated, and with even more donations being received, work on a fourth house can also get under way.
The fourth house will be able to house four people and will be made available to doctors, nurses and clinical staff.
The news has been welcomed by The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) and Telford & Wrekin Council, who are co-project managing the scheme – and the juniors doctors who will benefit from the new accommodation.
It comes after three parish councils in Telford & Wrekin pledged a further £11,000, to be added to £20,000 already donated from five other parish councils, and members of the public. There have also been donations and offers of help from businesses across Telford & Wrekin. Help from other parish councils and organisations is still welcome.
The scheme was launched two months ago following an appeal from Telford & Wrekin Council Leader, Councillor Shaun Davies. Councillor Davies called on businesses for help to refurbish three houses to help recruit more junior and middle tier doctors to The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH).
A&E at PRH had been facing a temporary overnight closure for patient safety reasons, with the trust needing more middle tier doctors to keep it fully open. SaTH has since secured the doctors and nurses that it requires meaning that the closure will no longer have to go ahead.
SaTH itself does not have the capital funds available for the refurbishment work as this has all been earmarked for essential items of equipment– but the Trust has secured funding from its charitable funds to match the funding from the councils.
Three homes have so far been stripped of their old furniture and carpets to make way for a full refurbishment, including new kitchens, bathrooms and communal lounge areas. Once they are completed, they will be made available for junior doctors for free, as an incentive for them to join SaTH.
And with donations continuing to be offered, including £5,000 from Oakengates Town Council, £5,000 from St Georges and Priorslee Parish Council and £1,000 from Dawley Hamlets Parish Council – another house is also set to undergo a refurbishment.
In order to help refurbish the houses, donations for white goods will now be sought from local businesses by Telford & Wrekin Council.
Councillor Davies said: “When complete, these houses will provide free accommodation to the junior and middle grade doctors our A&E so desperately needs. This will help with recruitment – and SaTH will be the only hospital trust in England to provide such on site accommodation for free. This is a big project which has been backed by the community. I would like to thank those who have helped so far as it has made a difference in trying to keep our A&E open. Any parish councils or organisations willing to help should still get in touch”
Dr Reuel Heng, Junior Doctors’ President at SaTH, said: “Our community here has been amazing in volunteering their time to help us bring this project to fruition. This hospital accommodation renewal provides new impetus towards fostering a sense of community within junior doctors, especially those just starting out in SATH. Lack of community has been shown as one of the six factors resulting in burnout; and junior doctors in the future will have the option to live on-site, forming a close knit community and support network with other juniors which helps them adapt and settle into this new environment, ultimately translating into even better provision of care for our patients here at Princess Royal Hospital.”
Dr Jenni Rowlands, Director of Post Graduate Medical Education at SaTH, said: “We are incredibly grateful for everyone’s support on this project from the people who have donated £50 to those who have donated £5,000 – it will all help to make a fantastic difference. To be able to complete a fourth house is beyond what we ever expected.
“This is a project that we could never have undertaken on our own as we have to prioritise our capital funds for essential items of equipment that need to be bought
“Our junior doctors have said the support of the community has been amazing; and they were out last week taking tea and biscuits to the fabulous team of volunteers who joined us to start the work on the refurbishing the houses. It has been a real community effort.”
A £5,000 donation has already been received from Hadley & Leegomery Parish Council. Great Dawley Town Council has also given £5,000 and Wellington Town Council has donated £4,800. Wrockwardine Wood and Trench Parish Council, and Newport Town Council, have also donated £2,500. Pledges of help and donations have also come from the community and businesses including Revive, TWS, Limetree Nurseries, Denso, Wrekin Housing, Mitre and WSP.