Rishi has welcomed the news that the Friarage Hospital’s operating theatres are to be replaced and the number increased.
As part of a national announcement about investment in 50 surgical hubs around the UK to tackle the Covid 19-related backlog, the Northallerton hospital is to receive £35.5m to build a new operating theatre block.
The increased capacity will almost double the number of planned operations carried out on the site from 5,000 to just under 10,000 a year.
The plans for the Friarage will see the hospital’s six existing operating theatres replaced with a modern surgical hub that will include six main operating theatres, two minor operating theatres and a surgical admission and day unit.
Rishi, who has worked with the Friarage’s doctors and the hospital managers to bring the plan to this stage, said: “This is just brilliant news for the all the hospital’s doctors, staff and patients who love the Friarage so much.
“We are incredibly proud of the hospital and this announcement repays the faith of everyone who has worked hard to develop services there and to ensure it has a sustainable future.”
The announcement is the latest in a series of recent investments in the Northallerton hospital.
- A £5m rapid diagnostics centre (due to open shortly).
- A new education centre
New services that have come on stream in recent years include
- The £10m Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Cancer Centre
- A new eye unit
- A new dialysis unit
Rishi added: “The Friarage has been my number one local priority ever since I was first elected as the MP for this area seven years ago. This announcement is a statement of confidence in the hospital’s future.
“We are seeing more people treated here, at our local hospital, and that’s a huge benefit for patients in this very rural area who value the services provided locally at the Friarage so much.”
The news was also welcomed by the Save our Friarage Hospital Campaign group which was formed several years ago to defend services at what is one of the smallest rural district hospitals in the country.
Holly Wilkinson, a spokeswoman for the group, said: “This is the sort of news we want to hear about the Friarage. It is a massive morale booster for everyone associated with the hospital. For those patients who don’t want to make the trips to James Cook at Middlesbrough or to Darlington it is really good news.
“I’d like to thank Rishi for what he has done to support this project which helps to secure the hospital’s future. We look forward to seeing more services delivered here. The South Tees trust has changed its attitude towards the Friarage and that’s very welcome.”