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We badly need a new hospital masterplan
2:00pm Friday 20th September 2013 in News
PLANS for a new community hospital in Evesham are back on the agenda.
Worcestershire Health and Care Trust says a masterplan for either a re-developed or new hospital is “much needed” and that work to identify possible solutions will take place over the coming months.
But the trust says any options explored must be “affordable” and supporters among Friends of Evesham Community Hospital say they are not getting their hopes up with the ongoing squeeze on public spending.
The possibility of replacing the 97-bed hospital, in Waterside, was examined closely back in 2008-9, but was not considered feasible then.
However the health and care trust says community hospitals such as Evesham are a “key element” of its plans for the future.
A spokesman said: “The trust’s new estate strategy has identified Evesham and the other community hospitals in the county as a key element in delivering future patient services.
“An options appraisal exercise for a replacement Evesham Hospital undertaken in 2009 failed to identify a viable scheme but we are keen to establish whether a longer term re-development approach on the existing hospital site might be achievable.
“Work on this is expected to start in October, with a report on its findings going back to the trust board late in the year.”
Frances Smith, chairman of the Friends of Evesham Community Hospital, said the group would “champion” any bid to replace or redevelop the hospital.
“At the moment there is no money available, so we know that it is not going to happen immediately unless someone comes in with a substantial pot, which is very unlikely,” she said. “It is important that it is on the agenda and I would like to see it moving forward.”
She believed one possible option is a “piece-by-piece” re-development of the site – something that Friends members spent “many, many hours” discussing with bosses from the former Worcestershire Primary Care Trust several years ago.
“Having a new hospital at Evesham is very important but, to me, it is not the be-all and end-all,” she said. “At the end of the day it is what goes on inside those buildings that is the most important thing.”
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