- Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid visits the South West region as part of his week-long nationwide ‘Road to Recovery’ tour
- Javid opens groundbreaking £56.7million government-funded facility in Porton Down to tackle COVID-19 and future health threats
- Visits follow government and NHS release of COVID backlog recovery plan to reduce waiting times, give patients more control over care and recover from COVID-19
Innovative health and technology hubs were the focus of Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid’s visit to the South West today (February 17, 2022), as he continues his ‘Road to Recovery” across England.
Mr. Javid visited three major facilities to meet incredible staff who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic and see how the region is rebuilding after COVID-19 and addressing the backlog.
The visit comes just a week after the government and NHS published their Choices stimulus package to boost recovery, tackle long waits for care with a massive expansion of testing, monitoring and treatment capacity.
The government will also consolidate health and social care services and give people access to the right care, in the right place and at the right time. The white paper on integration published last week will improve health and care systems for the 21st century, improve the health of local communities and facilitate access to health and care services.
The Health and Social Care Secretary’s ambitious agenda on Day 4 (Thursday, February 17) of his tour included visiting:
- A new £4.4million eye care unit at Musgrove Park Hospital, where he met staff to thank them for their work during COVID-19 and hear their feedback on the state-of-the-art new facilities.
- Dorset Health Village, a purpose-built center on the top floor of the Beales department store in Poole, is helping to tackle COVID-19 waiting lists.
- Porton Down, where he opened a new facility that will help tackle both COVID-19 and a wide range of emerging health security threats.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:
It has been a privilege to speak with people from Somerset to Dorset and see first hand the innovative new approaches and technological breakthroughs that will underpin our recovery from COVID-19 and help tackle the COVID backlog our NHS and our social protection system are currently facing.
Our COVID backlog recovery plan, along with the great work I’ve seen today, is needed to radically rethink how our health service delivers operations, treatment and check-ups as we watch beyond the pandemic and learn to live with COVID-19.
We are committed to addressing the COVID-19 backlog and building a health and social care system that works for everyone across our country.
As part of his commitment to recover from COVID-19 and tackle the NHS backlog, the Health and Social Care Secretary visited the new £4.4million eye care unit which opened at Musgrove Park Hospital in Somerset. The development is part of Musgrove 2030 – an ambitious program to transform hospital facilities and ensure people are cared for in the right place to meet their healthcare needs. He met with staff to thank them for their work during COVID-19 and to hear their feedback on the new state-of-the-art facilities.
The Health and Social Care Secretary then visited Dorset Health Village, a purpose-built center on the top floor of the Beales department store in Poole. Building on lessons learned from the establishment of Nightingale Hospitals at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and mass vaccination centers, the floor has been completely transformed into a clinical area, including an ophthalmology hallway, a cancer screening unit breast and 16 clinical rooms which can be adapted for different clinics. This will ensure that local people are seen faster, in a way that is convenient for them.
Finally, the Health and Social Care Secretary, alongside Dr Jenny Harries, Director General of the UK Health Security Agency, opened a groundbreaking new facility in Porton Down. The two-storey, 22,000 square foot building is one of two that make up a new £65m vaccine assessment centre, built to help develop and license new vaccines and cement the Kingdom United as the world leader in testing against future variants of the virus.
Here, teams are currently sequencing more than 1,500 positive PCR tests each day to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and guard against new variants as we learn to live with the virus, as well as shape our understanding of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. .
Technologies like those at Porton Down are key to tackling both COVID-19 and a wide range of emerging health security threats, and this has been recognized by the UK’s £10m aid funding from the government to advance vaccine research to help secure the world’s future. diseases.
Professor Dame Jenny Harries, CEO of the UK Health Security Agency, said:
It was a pleasure to be able to tour these new, world-class facilities, together with Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid, who will help further establish UKHSA and its Porton Down site as a world leader in HIV testing. vaccines and the search for variants in the fight against COVID-19.
The work undertaken at the Vaccine Assessment Center will define the UK’s future pandemic response as we help develop the next generation of vaccines to protect against this ever-changing virus.
Vaccines are one of the most important weapons we have against COVID-19 and they have prevented countless deaths and hospitalizations during this pandemic. Our teams will use these new facilities to ensure that we remain at the forefront of protection against future threats.
The Health and Social Care Secretary will use this regional tour to help focus these existing recovery and reform plans, and inform future plans that are expected in the coming months.