Shipston Town Council hears plans for the Ellen Badger Hospital
Shipston Town Council welcomed Sophie Gilkes, Director of Development at South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT), to its August meeting to hear the latest plans for the Ellen Badger Hospital. Ms Gilkes explained that there has never been a better time to develop the EBH. The NHS Long Term Plan, which sets out the strategy for the NHS over the next ten years, focuses on providing more care for people within their communities and delivering services which help keep people well - preventing illness as well as treating it. This means strengthening the services at the EBH is in line with national policy.
In addition, a review of GP surgery buildings and capacity undertaken by NHS South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the local body responsible for planning and funding different health care services locally (including GP services), identified Shipston Medical Centre (SMC)as a priority site. SMC has confirmed that the EBH is its preferred site for a new medical centre.
SWFT and SMC are now working together on proposals for expanding the EBH, making use of the new land which was recently acquired next to the hospital. They are looking at what services are needed now, as well as the anticipated needs in the future so that best use is made of the site in the short and long term. This was the approach taken when developing Stratford Hospital three years ago, which focuses on preventative care.
The two organisations are developing a joint business case which will be considered by the CCG later in the year and will need to consider various issues, including what benefits the project will offer for patients and local people and whether it represents good value for NHS money.
Sallie Green, former Matron at the EBH is the clinical lead for the project and has been looking at different sites and models of care. The intention is to retain existing services and work with partners and voluntary groups to add new provision such as mental health services, although nothing has been decided yet.
Ms Gilkes also made clear that the minor injuries unit would not be returning. Under new NHS policy, urgent treatment centres are replacing minor injuries units and must see a certain number of patients to be viable. The plan is to create an Urgent Care Centre in Stratford.
The expanded EBH site does have its challenges, including flooding. However, a feasibility study has assessed the limitations and confirmed that the site can accommodate all the activities SWFT is likely to put forward. The next step is to appoint an architect to develop designs which will hopefully be ready to share with SWFT, partners and the Patient Participation Group in mid-October. The business cases, which will set out what is being proposed and how it would be funded, are due to be completed by the end of the year.
The SWFT presentation followed a recent update from the League of Friends of the EBH and precedes a public event later this month. The event, on 17th September, takes place at the Townsend Hall and will include speakers from SWFT, Shipston Medical Centre, Warwickshire County Council and the League of Friends.