Medical Matters: Together we can build a brighter future

Torbay Weekly

Medical Matters - this week Dr Joanne Watson talks about the New Hospitals Programme - the biggest hospital building programme in a generation... and what this Government funding might mean for the future of health and care in Torbay and South Devon.

The Government is committed to helping the NHS build back better from Covid-19.

One of the centrepieces of that ambition will be delivering on the manifesto commitment to build 40 new hospitals across England by 2030, backed by an initial £3.7 billion of investment.

These hospitals will provide better care, improved working environments for staff and help the NHS reach its net zero carbon ambition.

I am pleased to say that we are one of the trusts set to benefit from this programme.

Our intention is to develop services which will support improved access to diagnostics, improvements to urgent and emergency care environments and separate planned care units.

We will not just be rebuilding Torbay Hospital.  We are planning a fundamental review of the ways that we support the people of Torbay and South Devon to live healthier lives and how we provide care when they need it.

That will include a new system for shared electronic records and the use of new technological methods of communication and treatment.

Without this investment our estate and digital infrastructure will continue to deteriorate, resulting in us being unable to deliver safe and effective care to those who use our services.

And we will be unable to take advantage of the latest developments and innovations in health and care services, and unable to provide our workforce with high-quality working environments and equipment.

This is why we are calling our programme Building a Brighter Future.

We want to build on what our hospitals are already great at, while developing new cutting-edge hospital facilities that take advantage of new health care technologies and treatments to offer the absolute best in modern healthcare.

We want to improve the experience that patients, families and carers have in the hospital, offering privacy and dignity through more private rooms and more space for our staff to care for patients.

Before we can receive the funding there are a number of stages we need to complete.

We have now finalised our strategic outline case for the investment we are seeking.

This was signed off by our board of directors and submitted to NHS England and Improvement in July 2021.

Once approved at a national level, we will move on to developing our outline business case.

At this early stage no firm decisions have been made.

Our proposals will be led by clinical opinion, experience and scientific data alongside the partnership with the people of Torbay and South Devon.

The needs and views of our patients, staff and local people are all really important to the whole programme.

We really want everyone to be part of the conversation. We will work on keeping everyone up to date on all the latest news and even more importantly, we promise to listen to you.

We will share information about building a brighter future on our website, in our newsletters and on social media, including case studies featuring our people and our patients.

We will begin community conversations about building a brighter future which will include listening events and a range of ways that people can share with us what matters to them.

We will work with you to make sure we hear from as many people as possible, particularly those who may be affected by changes we may make.

To find out more about the project and how you can be involved:

  • if you work for us: please visit our dedicated pages on ICON or speak to one of our design leads
  • if you live in South Devon or Torbay: Please visit or contact us at