Revised plans for a nearly-£10 million pound investment in Belper’s community health services can now be unveiled, following a purdah on news which may influence an election.
Brand new state-of-the-art health facilities were due to move to the old Thornton’s site on Derwent Street, but are now to be built on the site of the current Belper Clinic, on part of the Babington Hospital site on Derby Road.
Health bosses have developed the revised plans and allocated an additional £4 million to be spent on the NHS facilities, in addition to the already announced £5.94 million, to offer more space to accommodate a growing range of community health services under one roof and more parking space.
The trust says that the revised scheme “honours all the promises made to local people in the engagement process of 2018 to develop services fit for the 21st century in a sustainable way and in line with the ambitions set out in Joined Up Care Derbyshire to replace out-dated facilities at Babington Hospital.”
William Jones, chief operating officer for Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, who has led the Belper health redevelopment project, said: “We are very excited to be able to share these updated plans and architect’s drawings for transforming health facilities for patients in Belper.
“We have deliberated long and hard about how best to deliver the future-proofed facilities which local people deserve. In the end, a combination of factors opened the way for total redevelopment of the Belper Clinic site and swung the balance away from pursuing the Derwent Street site where we were facing various challenges, such as trying to squeeze a growing list of newly commissioned services into the constrictions of the site.”
In the past two years there have been several newly commissioned community-based health services which need accommodating locally, including wound care clinics, musculoskeletal assessment and treatment services and community midwifery. The Belper Clinic site development will generate 2,900 square metres of space compared with 1,540 square metres maximum available at Derwent Street.
NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is supportive of the Belper Clinic site redevelopment scheme as a solution to seeing the delivery of their commissioning requirements for the future of joined-up health services in the town.
Zara Jones, executive director of commissioning operations for NHS Derby and Derbyshire CCG, said: “We’re delighted with the plans for the new health care facility in Belper, and also that we can now share this exciting development with local people.
“Not only will this building ensure the provision of high quality services for the foreseeable future, it also reflects the ongoing commitment of the NHS to improve care for our population in the places that people live.
“The growing list of services which will be available in the building reflects this and we look forward to seeing it emerge during 2020.”
NHS Property Services, to whom ownership of the Babington Hospital and Belper Clinic site was automatically transferred due to central government decisions, has agreed to the sale of the southern portion of the site including Belper Clinic, to Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust to enable the health services redevelopment to go ahead. This is one part of the NHS selling NHS property to another part of the NHS.
The proposed development’s footprint mitigates flood risk to the satisfaction of the Environment Agency. Positive early discussions have also taken place with the Highways Department, Amber Valley Borough Council and Historic England (Heritage) advisor, to prepare for a planning application to be submitted in late-Spring 2020.
The aim is to be able to start construction on site in Autumn 2020 and to complete the new building in Spring 2022.
William Jones added: “It has been a complicated process, involving multiple partner organisations, to line up these revised plans. All the complexities and the commercial sensitivities of agreeing the land purchase meant we needed to be certain we could offer this as a solution for people in Belper before going public.
“It is fantastic to be able to share the plans at last and to show the architectural drawings which help to bring the scheme to life. This really is a first-rate investment for which all the funding is secured to provide top quality community health facilities to serve people in Belper for decades to come.”
The revised location does not affect the new model of “bedded care” and community health services, which will see more patients cared for close to, or actually in their home, if that best suits their needs. Derbyshire County Council’s brand new bedded-care facilities are already taking shape in Derwent Street.
A public drop-in session to discuss the new Belper Clinic site development is being held on Wednesday 8th January at the Strutt Centre on Derby Road, Belper, between 6pm and 8pm. Health bosses from Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust and NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group will be on hand to answer questions and talk about the scheme.
Nailed is enquiring about details on the future of the plans for the library, and care home also proposed for the Derwent Street site.