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Estate strategy milestone opens potential for more health and care developments across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent

Plans to update and improve buildings including hospitals, GP surgeries and council care facilities have been praised, clearing the way for potential future investments.

The “Estates Strategy” of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent’s health and care partnership, Together We’re Better, has been officially rated as “Good”.

This means work can now go ahead to pull together a series of projects that could attract funding to give the area more of the most up-to-date buildings.

Becky Jones, Together We’re Better Estates Programme Director, said: “This is excellent news for hospitals, GP surgeries, health and care villages and anywhere else that health and care services are provided from.

“It’s important that we have the best estates so we can deliver these services in a way that is safe and efficient and easy for everyone to access.”

The last assessment, carried out in 2018, rated the Estates Strategy as “Improving”. A rating of Good is required from NHS England and NHS Improvement to access greater potential capital investment.

Becky said: “To make this improvement in our rating the Together We’re Better partners, which includes all NHS organisations in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, councils and voluntary organisations, have come together to understand what our priorities are. We now have a really good idea of what our need is and how we are going to deliver it in the future.

“The success means we have the potential to deliver more facilities like the health and care villages, such as Northfields in Stafford, as well as improve our more traditional facilities.

The health and care villages aim to deliver primary care, enhanced primary care, community facilities, training facilities, residential care, dementia care, extra care housing and key worker accommodation, all in one state-of-the-art complex.

Becky added: “These facilities bring together so many of the services that are needed from a health and care perspective for our local populations.

“We will now work with colleagues to understand the clinical priorities and develop a project pipeline that will enable the required transformation to take place and deliver these projects. This will put us in a good position, with developed business cases, to be ready for all future capital opportunities.”

For each planned project, individual business cases will need to be made and funding applied for.