A groundbreaking education centre is in the planning stages for Hereford County Hospital.

This follows a partnership decision between Herefordshire Council and Wye Valley Trust (WVT). The vision is to transform the Trust into a beacon of excellence for staff and student education.

Alan Dawson, the Chief Strategy and Planning Officer at Wye Valley NHS Trust, voiced his excitement about the proposal. He highlighted the potential for a multi-purpose establishment that not only lures NHS staff to Herefordshire with high-quality education opportunities, rivalling those in larger urban centres, but also serves as a community cornerstone for residents.

In line with WVT's strategic vision, the integrated education centre aims to:

  • Deliver multi-professional education.
  • Offer equitable and life-long learning for all team members.
  • Stand as a model education facility accessible to a vast spectrum of local community groups, inclusive of public, patients, and service users.
  • Foster an education environment that promotes collaborative learning, transcending traditional healthcare education boundaries.

This investment promises to amplify staff training opportunities at Wye Valley Trust. It paves the way for increased staff retention and attracts more individuals to make Herefordshire their home. Enhanced skill retention and development are set to ensure consistent and efficient services for local residents, bolstering the local economy and professional skill base.

Councillor Graham Biggs, the Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth, expressed his enthusiasm for the project. He underlined the council's priority of bolstering partnerships across Herefordshire to spur economic growth and elevate local professional skills. He stated, "This project, if realised, embodies an ideal facility fostering cooperation across healthcare, education, public service, and even charitable sectors."

Emphasising the potential of the endeavour, Cllr Biggs added, "The vibrant learning space and community hub proposed would significantly benefit Herefordshire. As we await the preparation of a comprehensive business case, I am eagerly anticipating the next developments."

As work progresses on the business case, which delves into the feasibility and partnership models, alongside a charitable fundraising facet, it is set for review by the Cabinet and the WVT Trust Board in Autumn 2023. The centre's potential benefits to Herefordshire's economy and community make it a highly anticipated project.