Planning for the future of care at the Royal Berkshire Hospital is being undertaken as health professionals lay out what they want to achieve by 2025.

Work on the care objectives of professionals at the hospital was published in the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust’s ‘Our Strategy’ document back in 2018.

The Trust is currently reviewing the strategy due to a number of developments, the biggest being the Royal Berkshire Hospital being included in the Government’s New Hospital Programme.

The programme by the Government involves building 40 new hospitals across the country, and the Trust has begun conversations about the Royal Berkshire Hospital being redeveloped or moving to a new location.

Reading, Wokingham and West Berkshire Councils have all expressed preferences for the future of the hospital.

READ MORE: Date set for when work could start on new Royal Berkshire Hospital

Jason Brock, the leader of Reading Borough Council (Labour, Southcote) has argued the hospital should stay in the borough, either at its current site or at a possible new location in Whitley.

Meanwhile, the former Conservative administration of Wokingham Borough Council has lobbied for a new hospital to be built at Thames Valley Science Park in Shinfield.

Also, in July, West Berkshire Council passed a motion by councillor Alan Macro (Liberal Democrats, Theale) declaring its desire for a modern hospital that West Berkshire residents can get to easily by public transport and car.

New Hospital Programme work at Royal Berkshire Hospital could start between 2025-30.

The Trust’s strategy is focused priorities for improvement up to that point.

READ MORE: Royal Berkshire Hospital boss grilled over language use and whistle-blowing

At a meeting of Reading Borough Council’s health and wellbeing board, attendees received a report on a draft update to the strategy by Andrew Statham, director of strategy, improvements and partnerships at the Trust.

Mr Statham, who presented virtually due to being ill with coronavirus, said the Trust’s vision is to deliver outstanding care to the community.

In questioning, cllr Ruth McEwan (Labour, Church) asked: “How will we as an organisation meaningfully engage and influence the strategy on an ongoing basis, and when will we receive updates?”

Mr Statham said professionals will continue to attend health and wellbeing board meetings.

Answering a question from cllr McEwan on how the strategy hopes to meet the current and emerging needs of residents, he replied: “What our team on communication and engagement need to work on over the next 18 months is understanding more about what our patients and our population are saying about us and how we can improve.”

He added that, while the engagement team is good at ‘analogue’ engagement, such as surveys, more can be done to try different methods about how people feel.

Mr Statham delivered the presentation at a meeting on Friday, July 15.

The Trust’s strategy update is currently being reviewed and is set for publication at a later date.