Battle for cash to transform Royal Bolton Hospital hots up as government considers bid

By Stephen Topping

The race to secure funding to transform Royal Bolton Hospital has stepped up with ambitious plans now being considered by the government.

Health chiefs in Bolton are hoping to eventually make two bids for funding, with the first covering a £250 million development for a new women, children's and maternity services facility.

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust says a state-of-the-art hospital would be built on the grounds of the existing site, in Farnworth, over the next four years if its bid is successful.

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The plans, which will span more than 25,000 square meters and house just fewer than 200 beds, have been developed in conjunction with feedback from locals.

The government's window for funding applications closed today (September 9), with officials now set to assess each bid, and eight NHS trusts around the country are expected to be successful.

Fiona Noden, chief executive at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Supporting our bid will make a massive difference to how we meet the increasingly complex needs of our community and provide the level of care they require.

“While we do already provide safe and effective care from our current buildings, they need bringing up to modern standards.

“Narrow corridors, cramped spaces and open wards may have worked for the Victorians, but they are not best suited to life in the 21st century.

“We are excited by how our plans for a new hospital could help our community and look forward to the next stage of the process.”

If successful, phase one of Bolton’s proposed project would be built next to the existing maternity unit.

This would include maternity, neonatal and gynaecology services, the breast unit, chemotherapy and day case theatres.

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust says the new facilities would bring services and staff together in one place - so that the treatments and help people receive improves both their health and wellbeing, and their experience.

Fiona added: “Our plans are ambitious and they form part of a masterplan, a blueprint for how healthcare should be provided to meet the complex needs of our growing population.

“We’re confident that they fit what our diverse communities have told us they need, and we are keen to progress them to the next stage when bidding opens.

“We’ll keep everyone informed at each step about how we’re making plans to build our new hospital, for a better Bolton.”

The bid submission would be paid for from the government’s hospital improvement programme.

Should Bolton’s bid be successful, it is expected that the new build would be completed by late 2025.

A second funding bid could also follow for a £250 million redevelopment of the rest of the hospital trust's facilities, the Local Democracy Reporting Service revealed last month.

Find out more about the new hospital on the Trust’s website .

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