A statement that 35 per cent of the Trust's estate is 'unsuitable' is, firstly, based on old data, and secondly refers mostly to the well known space limitations in the older parts of the hospital. It is not an issue of safety or hygiene. The whole estate has been audited for safety in the last year.
The older parts of the hospital still used for clinical purposes pose a challenge. About a quarter of our beds are in the 1938 Southwood Building. The average space for a cubicle is 10 sq m, without ensuite facilities, whereas in the newer parts of the hospital it is 16 sq m plus an ensuite toilet. Where multi-bedded bays are in use in both old and new areas, the space available is similarly larger in the newer areas. We would want all parents to be able to stay near their child but this is not possible in some older parts of the hospital.
Thanks to the hard work of our staff, the Trust gets excellent feedback from its families, with 96 per cent of inpatient parents and of children saying they would recommend us to another family. We know some of our facilities are not what we would wish for families and for our staff but we are always determined to deliver high quality safe care.
The Trust is in the middle of a £320m redevelopment, at the end of which we will have all inpatient facilities to a modern standard, and will be able to treat up to 20 per cent more children. The taxpayer funded £75m of that and we have fundraised the rest with £95m still to fund.
A Private Finance Initiative (PFI) would not work for us, but we do need to raise this additional £95m in a tough economic climate.
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