A Very Welcome Christmas Present for Emsworth Residents!

 


In the last days of 2019 it has been announced that Emsworth Residents' Campaign to keep the Victoria Cottage Hospital Site as the Doctors' surgery came to fruition when NHS South Eastern Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) announced  that construction work to convert the old hospital to the Emsworth Doctors' new surgery can begin from as early as the end of January 2020.

To the great disappointment of local residents, Emsworth Victoria Cottage Hospital in North Street Emsworth, originally built and opened by public subscription in 1898, was closed by the NHS in April 2012.  When, in 2018, it was announced that the site was surplus to requirements by NHS Property Services and was to be sold, residents’ groups came together in their united opposition to the decision. The then newly-founded Emsworth Community Land Trust (ECLT), hoped to make a bid to repurpose the landmark building, a registered asset of community value, which  could help turn the closed hospital into a facility beneficial to the community. Dwynwen Stepien, the chairwoman of ECLT) helped establish the Emsworth United campaign, calling on residents and NHSPS to work together to find a future for the building, which will benefit the community, by calling a public meeting at Emsworth Baptist Church on August 22nd last year.

At that very well attended meeting there was unanimous support for the building to be retained for community use and that it would provide an excellent location for a new Emsworth  Surgery with greatly improved facilities and services. The Community representatives agreed to work with the CCG on public engagement and consultation.

 

The current location of the Emsworth Surgery at 6 North Street is cramped and given the practice's number of registered patients is inadequate and unfit for purpose. A survey conducted by the Emsworth Forum in 2015 showed that 79% of the respondents favoured the construction of a Surgery & Community Health Space  while the doctors at the surgery have been considering relocating for nearly two decades. 

 

 

Local MP, Alan Mak, gave his full support to the campaign which made a number of key interventions securing NHS attendance at future meetings for the community and all stakeholders and by obtaining a withdrawal from sale notice from NHS Property Services.

After the NHS and local doctors came to an  agreement that there was potential for the Emsworth Victoria Cottages Hospital to be the site of the town’s new surgery a further public meeting was held to consult on a range of future options the outcome of which was in favour of converting the hospital building in its entirety to a new surgery.

 

There followed the presentation of a  Business Case by the surgery  to NHS England (NHSE) recommending that the Emsworth Victoria Cottage Hospital be refurbished and to become becomes the new home for the GPs. The Westbourne branch surgery would be retained.  A full specification of the required work required, obtaining tendered costs from contractors, successfully acquiring full planning permission (Planning application APP/19/00414)  and the appointment of architects followed. The final months of 2019 were occupied by negotiations over and agreement to funding which were successfully concluded in December.

 

Emsworth Online Boxing Day 2019



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