news & Things

New A&E Opened By Health And Social Care Secretary On Tour Of Health Care Services

28th Feb 2022

Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, has visited North West and West Midlands health and care services to thank staff for their tireless work during the pandemic.

He also opened a £15 million A&E department at Leighton Hospital, Crewe.

These visits make up a week-long national tour which aims to reinforce government commitment to reform, integrate and fund the NHS and social care and level up health around the country.

On Wednesday 16th February, NHS staff at North West and West Midlands health services were thanked for their unshakeable efforts throughout the pandemic by the Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid.

The visits make up his ‘Road To Recovery’ tour across England and by day 3 has visited:

  • Deeplish Community Centre, Rochdale
  • Leighton Hospital, Crewe
  • Birmingham Heartlands hospital

While there, staff shared experiences of working with the pressure of the pandemic and discussed the government’s plans to reform, integrate and fund the NHS and social care, in a drive to build back better.

The tour has allowed the Health and Social Care Secretary to see first hand how improvements in key sites in the North West and West Midlands are being implemented to improve patient care and outline how a more connected health and care system will mean better care for all, and help tackle imbalances within care.

“It’s been fantastic to visit the health services in the North West and West Midlands to thank staff for their efforts throughout the pandemic and outline our commitment to reform, recovery and funding for our NHS and social care.

We are committed to tackling the COVID-19 backlog and building a health and social care system for the long term that works for everyone.

Our recent Elective Recovery Plan is a vital step in rethinking how our health and care services deliver operations, treatment and checks as we level up services up and down the country.”

Sajid Javid, Health And Social Care Secretary

Sajid Javid joined staff at Deeplish Community Centre in Rochdale for their quarterly equalities team coffee morning, in which they discussed issues facing ethnic minority communities in the area. The issues ranged from language skills, funding for pharmacies, nurse pay and hours and access to face-to-face GP appointments.

He urged the team to respond to the ongoing call for evidence to help shape the government’s 10-Year Cancer Plan for England, he also discussed the upcoming cancer awareness campaign at the centre and stressed its importance in building awareness of screening services to support early diagnosis within the community.

Leighton Hospital in Crewe was next on the list for the Health and Social Care Secretary, to meet staff and officially open their new £15 million A&E department.

The new A&E department began taking patients from Tuesday the 15th of February, with the trust securing the funding as part of the government’s commitment to investing in modern facilities.

Patients will be seen quicker, in a larger and safer environment with these new facilities, as staff will continue their world class care while enabling the hospital to better meet the needs of the people of Cheshire, with the addition of a dedicated paediatric unit, more resuscitation bays and more mental health assessment rooms, it means the community will benefit greatly.

The Health and Social Care Secretary then moved to the Birmingham Heartlands hospital to meet with participants in the cutting-edge PANORAMIC antivirals trial. As part of the trial, patients with pre-existing conditions can benefit from new antiviral treatments for COVID-19 to reduce the need for hospital admission and help them recover quickly.

The new Heartlands Treatment Centre is due to open later this year and Sajid Javid also visited the site on his tour. The Centre is backed by £97.1 million of government funding to provide a modern, spacious environment for patients to receive non-emergency procedures and treatments, including diagnostics, day surgery and outpatient appointments that will help tackle the COVID-19 backlog by treating 5,000,000 patients.

Staff across all the sites visited all stressed the same thing: the government needs to think beyond the pandemic and reform health and social care so the needs of the population can continue to be met.

Initiatives were discussed by the Health and Social Care Secretary, which included the delivery plan to tackle the COVID-19 backlog of elective care, integration white paper and his personal mission to eradicate health disparities, which will include the publication of a health disparities white paper later this year.


“We were delighted to welcome the Secretary of State to Leighton today, at a time when we are investing in enhanced hospital services for our local community. The purpose-built A&E ensures a bigger, better and safer environment for both patients and staff. A&E attendance has increased across the country in recent years, so this provides an excellent opportunity to meet the needs of our growing population of 300,000.”

James Sumner, Chief Executive of the Mid Cheshire Trust


“The NHS has been tested to the maximum by a combination of higher patient attendances, the coronavirus pandemic and the annual winter pressures.

This facility is really exciting for the trust – it has been carefully designed to allow for the clear separation of children and adults in a modern, welcoming environment that will greatly improve the patient experience.”

Dr David Matthews, Clinical Director of Emergency Care at Mid Cheshire Trust


“We’re proud to have the opportunity to highlight the progress made on the Heartlands Treatment Centre to the Health Secretary today. We are grateful that he also took the time to listen to the experiences of my tremendous colleagues who have been on the front line of the pandemic.

Heartlands Treatment Centre will provide a modern environment for our clinicians to give exceptional standards of care, state-of-the-art diagnostics, and more non-emergency day-case surgery for up to half a million people in our communities – vitally supporting our ability to get back on track and improve waiting lists for patients in the wake of COVID-19.

This new facility is on time and on budget, and it will also bring huge potential for staff development and excellent career opportunities for local people.”

University Hospitals Birmingham Chief Executive, Prof David Rosser, said:

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