Latest hospital proposals revealed

DETAILS of the latest proposals for Clevedon’s new hospital have been revealed this week, with it also being disclosed a decision on whether the scheme can go ahead has been delayed until July.

An update on the multi-million pound project was given at a meeting of the League of Friends of Clevedon Hospital on Monday, when members were told if all goes well the new facility will open in 2014.

Work was due to start on the Millcross site in December but was put on hold when NHS North Somerset was forced to review and resubmit its business case to the South of England Strategic Health Authority.

This resulted in changes being made to the plans following the success of community wards, which see a team of GPs, nurses and specialists treating more patients at home.

At Monday’s meeting, NHS North Somerset local director Jeannette George said: “We have done a huge amount of work to make sure what we do is the right thing for the people of North Somerset and for the NHS as a whole.

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“To ensure the hospital is fit for purpose going forward in these more austere times we needed to make some changes to the mix of services.

“The community wards have been incredibly successful – people are being nursed in their own homes more and more.

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“That has changed the mix of beds we needed.”

Instead of the 24 individual inpatient rooms originally planned, there will now be 20. The range of consultant-led outpatient clinics which will be on offer has also been altered.

The biggest change is the scrapping of a community resource centre, which was planned into the original design and would have been made available for groups to use for meetings.

The minor injuries unit will remain, as will all of the therapy services and diagnostic services originally planned.

The revised business case was due to be considered by the South of England Strategic Health Authority (SHA) this month but this has now been put back until a board meeting in July.

The board will decide on the project after applying rigorous tests to ensure the NHS can afford it and to ensure it fits into wider plans for North Somerset’s health services.

According to project director Helen England, this delay should not affect the overall timescale of the scheme. If approved in July, the hospital should be completed by 2014.

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