Future looking bright for Stamford Hospital, says chief Dr Peter Reading

Dr Peter Reading outside Stamford Hospital
Dr Peter Reading outside Stamford Hospital
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A REVAMP of Stamford Hospital is still on the cards despite enormous financial worries.

Dr Peter Reading, who has taken on the role of the interim chief executive of Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Trust, has vowed that the future of Stamford Hospital in Ryhall Road is “looking bright”.

Medical director John Randall is leading discussions with doctors in Stamford on the best way forward for the hospital.

Dr Reading said proposals unveiled in 2010 to spend money updating the buildings were still at the forefront of the trust’s plans.

He said: “I can say that Stamford Hospital has a very bright future and we are determined to invest in it and improve the facilities.

“It is a fantastic facility and I have met some of the staff there, who are amazing and committed. But it does need investment.

“Our medical director is working with GPs to work out the best way forward and to make the best use of the facilities that are available.”

Dr Reading said proposals on plans would be published in “not too many months’ time” and said he was keen to hear what people thought of the plans.

Hospital chiefs had previously considered getting a private developer on board to help finance the costs of a redevelopment and Dr Reading said this was still an option.

He said the minor injuries unit would be kept open and outpatient facilities would be improved as part of the plans and said that endoscopy services at Stamford Hospital could also be expanded.

One thing that will be considered as part of the proposals will be the future of the John Van Geest unit. It is currently open as part of the trust’s winter plan and on Tuesday, had 20 patients on the ward.

But Dr Reading said: “It is important to find the best long-term solution but it is certainly a possibility that it could close again in the short-term.”

He said the costs of the revamp had not yet been looked at but added: “We are not yet talking about how much money we would spend.

“The most important thing is the healthcare and we are not going to make any decisions in a closed room.

“Our task at Stamford Hospital is to make sure the facilities at Stamford Hospital are as good as what we can afford.”

A spokesman for the trust said Dr Reading had been appointed on an interim basis which the board felt was most appropriate “in this challenging time, but added there was no set time for his contract with the trust to end.

Dr Reading’s most recent post was chief executive at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Trust, also on an interim basis. He was also the chief executive at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust between 2000 and 2007.

He said he was determined to take on the challenge.

Dr Reading said: “There is quite a lot we can do to make better use of the facilities and to make the hospitals run more efficiently for patients.

“We also need to look at how we can use our hospitals to attract more patients. Common sense says that we can treat more patients in the fabulous facilities that we have.

“There is a lot to be done but it can be done.”