New hospital delayed indefinitely

PLANS to build a new community hospital in Clevedon have been delayed indefinitely, with health bosses unable to say when it will be completed.

Work on building the multi-million pound facility at Millcross was due to start in December.

However, workmen are not set to move in any time soon, with NHS North Somerset announcing the plans are being revised to ‘reflect the changing environment in which the NHS is operating’.

The hospital was due to be completed by the summer of 2013. However, it will not be known until at least February how long the project will now be delayed for.

NHS North Somerset, along with the Primary Care Trust (PCT) Cluster for Bristol, North Somerset and Gloucestershire, say they remain committed to the development of a new Clevedon Community Hospital.

North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Board chairman Dr Mary Backhouse said: “Clevedon Hospital provides essential services to Clevedon and the surrounding towns and villages.

“We need to make sure our plans for developing services are robust and the hospital and services we develop are sustainable for the future.

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“We are fully involved in this project and will continue to work with the cluster PCTs and Strategic Health Authority (SHA) on its development.”

The hospital is due to be built on the former Kwik Save site in Millcross. Previous proposals show it will include outpatient treatment, therapies, rehabilitation, diagnostics and a minor injuries unit on the ground floor and 24 individual inpatient rooms on the first floor.

Once the new facility opens to patients, the cottage hospital in Old Street is due to be partially demolished to make way for 14 homes to be built on the site.

However, following a recent review of the business case for the development of a new hospital by the SHA and the PCT cluster, the new plans are being updated to ensure the facility best meets the needs of local patients at a time when the Government is making many changes to the NHS. It is hoped this final business case will be approved in the New Year.

This could then mean a new planning application needs to be submitted to North Somerset Council for approval before work can start.

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