Work starts on medics’ houses at Telford hospital - with video

Work has started to refurbish three buildings at a Shropshire hospital in a bid to attract doctors to work in its A&E department.

It is hoped the homes, which are within the grounds of Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital, will be offered as free accommodation to junior doctors and middle-grade doctors.

It comes as the hospital’s A&E faces an overnight closure because of a shortage of the doctors and nurses needed to keep it running round the clock.

Telford & Wrekin Council’s leader Shaun Davies launched a DIY SOS appeal, asking businesses for help with renovating the buildings, and about 20 individuals and organisations responded.

They include Denso Manufacturing UK which has donated £2,500. The Wrekin Housing Trust will refurbish three kitchens and Geomitre Consultants has conducted a structural survey of the buildings.

WSP will carry out an asbestos survey and Lovell Homes and Balfour Beatty will support with any necessary works to the buildings. Councillor Davies said: "After the asbestos survey has been carried out, skips will be delivered to the site.

"Then over two days, volunteers under supervision will begin to strip the houses of all furniture and loose fittings, carpets and floor coverings.

"This will then allow clear access for the builders to come in some time later to make the structural alterations required before the new kitchens and bathrooms are fitted and the houses redecorated inside. The volunteers will also start to improve the houses’ gardens by cutting back shrubs and removing weeds.”

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"When the houses are finished, they will be offered as free accommodation to encourage junior and middle grade doctors to come to Telford to work at this hospital.

"Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (Sath) will be the only hospital trust in the country to offer free accommodation on site.

"It will help attract and retain doctors, particularly junior doctors who graduate from university with debts of around £100,000.

"People are so excited about this. There is a real desire to do something tangible to help our hospital get the staff it so desperately needs to keep its A&E running in the longer term.

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"I have been told that this will be a game changer in the recruitment of doctors.”

Jenni Rowlands, consultant cardiologist and director for undergraduate education at Sath, said: "Refurbishing the houses with Telford & Wrekin Council is a unique collaboration working together to attract doctors to the trust.

"New, free on-site accommodation will be an exceptional feature when choosing where to work.”

Source: Shropshire Star | Date: 16 November 2018

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