WORK is well underway on a new hospital in the Cotswolds.

South Warwickshire University NHS Foundation Trust has provided an update on the construction of the new Ellen Badger Hospital in Shipston.

The original building has been demolished and contractors Speller Metcalfe have now completed the groundwork.

The building will soon start taking shape, with the steelwork going up over the coming months.

Dr Charles Ashton, chief medical officer at the Trust, said: “It is fantastic to see work starting on-site to develop a facility that will offer so many clinical services – making them more accessible for local people.

"There have been several factors that have resulted in changes to the design, plans and timescales, but despite those external influences, the Trust has remained committed to investing in healthcare for Shipston and the local villages.

“As part of our Trust strategy, we know that keeping people well in their community for as long as possible supports better long-term outcomes for patients.

"Therefore, the services provided at the new Ellen Badger Hospital will help us to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and help people to live longer lives, with fewer years of ill health.”

READ MORE: Construction of new hospital in Shipston gets underway

Cotswold Journal: Visualisation of the new hospital in Shipston Visualisation of the new hospital in Shipston (Image: SWFT)

Recognising the rich history of the original building, the Trust has secured as many historical artefacts as possible which will be incorporated into the new hospital.

All of the brickwork from the demolished building is also being used as materials for the new build.

The new site will provide enhanced clinical spaces, bringing more specialities and clinics to Shipston, as well as ensuring all of the specialities run from the previous site will return.

The development will also include the infrastructure to bring on-site mobile diagnostics.

Mark Hudgeon, regional director at Speller Metcalfe, said: “Having delivered a number of community hospitals on behalf of the NHS, we understand the importance of local residents being able to access these services – particularly those who reside in more rural areas.

“Speller Metcalfe is absolutely delighted to be a part of this scheme and we are looking forward to supporting the local community and the Trust to make it a reality.”

The Trust is also working with the Stour Health and Wellbeing Partnership to co-design the Health and Wellbeing Hub, a community-led space offering a range of activities to support people's well-being.

Bob Armstrong, chair of the Partnership’s trustee board, said: “We have been working with the Trust for some time on the design of the Health and Wellbeing Hub in the new Ellen Badger Hospital.

"Over the last 12 months, we have run a number of activities in Shipston and the surrounding villages.

"These activities have given us a valuable insight into the potential health and wellbeing benefits for the Stour community from this type of facility.”

To support the development of the Health and Wellbeing Hub, Stratford District Council has awarded £900,000 of community infrastructure levy funding to the project.

The new Ellen Badger Hospital is expected to be completed next summer.