Simon Constable is chief executive of Warrington Hospital and gives the latest on life at the hospital

LAST week we celebrated the 75th anniversary of the birth of the NHS.

We marked this important milestone in typically modest style, mindful of current pressures and demand, but taking time to reflect on how far we have come, even in recent years, let alone the full 75…

We also used this as an opportunity to engage with our patients and communities to help steer and shape our decision making as well as our approach to the future development of services.

On the subject of future developments, you may have read last month that unfortunately we haven’t been included in the latest funding round of the government’s New Hospitals Programme. Hospitals in urgent need of redevelopment due to health and safety risks associated with structural issues are being prioritised in this funding round instead.

It is obviously disappointing news for our trust, our staff, our patients and for our towns, but the NHS has shown it is nothing if not innovative and resourceful. The progress we have made in getting to this stage with our New Hospitals bid leaves us in a good position for the future, enabling us to develop alternative plans with the same level of ambition.

We will continue to work alongside our partners over the coming weeks and months to identify further opportunities to develop our aspirations to meet the evolving needs of residents, tackle health inequalities, and support the regeneration of Warrington and Halton.

In the meantime we are making progress with our plans by changing and adapting how and where we deliver care.

This includes investing to make the most appropriate and effective use of scarce clinical space for urgent and emergency care at Warrington Hospital and the introduction of some excellent new community facilities.

Last month we officially opened an enhanced and expanded Breast Screening Clinic at Bath Street Health and Wellbeing Centre, part of our approach to deliver more outpatient services from the heart of our communities to reduce waits for screening and treatment.

We are also partnering with organisations across the town to provide a range of healthcare services for the whole community under one roof at the new Living Well Hub in Warrington town centre. This is on track to open later this year and will support a greater focus on early intervention and the prevention of both physical and mental ill health.

Work is also under way on the development of our new Warrington and Halton Diagnostics Centre over at Halton. When fully operational it will provide residents of both boroughs with earlier access to life-saving tests for medical conditions including cancer, heart and lung disease.

Happy birthday to all NHS colleagues, volunteers and patients, past and present. Thank you for your support. We have much to look forward to.