NHS England have invested £3.5m into a scheme to transform a decommissioned hospital into a new practice in Hampshire.
The former Victoria Cottage Hospital is now known as Emsworth Medical Practice, and they opened their doors earlier this week, welcoming patients into a modern, fit-for-purpose practice. The practice aims to meet the needs of the local community, as well as help ease the patient waiting list, that has continued to steadily grow from 2,000 to 13,000.
Part of the process involved close working relationships between NHS Hampshire, Southampton and the Isle of Wight Clinical Group, NHS Property Services, and the GP partners at the new surgery. The local community also helped select the perfect site for the replacement surgery.
Adam Shepheard, Principal Construction Manager, said: “We are so pleased that the old hospital site can once again serve the community, giving patients access to excellent healthcare right on their doorstep. It has been an exciting process to watch the building transform into the healthcare facility that the community deserve.”
This follows on from the former decommissioned hospital site closing in April 2013, and campaigners fighting to secure it for the new surgery in 2018.
The scheme involved a redevelopment of the hospital site with some new build and transforming the building internally to a hi-spec health setting.
Several single-storey outbuildings were demolished by builders to make way for a new rear single-storey extension to the main building, as well as installing a new lift shaft, new windows, a new roof, canopy construction, complete reconfiguration of rooms, and plastering from floor to ceiling.
Dr Abu Chinwala, a partner at Emsworth Surgery, said: “The big day has arrived, and this is a huge event for us, our patients and all those people in the community who have helped our vision become a reality.
“Our existing site was not purpose-built and has long been outgrown by the community it serves. It is too small and has not enabled us to offer the full range of primary care services that we want to provide. Our new building exceeds our expectations. Our staff love it and I’m sure our patients will too.”
Sara Tiller, Managing Director for South East Hampshire, for the Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight CCG, said: “There are so many people we need to thank for making this happen from the builders to NHS England, who provided the funding. But mainly our thanks must go to the Emsworth community, which has been involved every step of the way in realising the ambition to build a super 21st century health facility on their doorstep.”