Plans for a state-of-the-art health campus in Whitehill & Bordon’s new town centre are shaping up with a potential developer on board – less than a year after East Hampshire District Council pledged to take a proactive role in making it happen.
Speaking at a packed community forum in January last year, the Leader of the council, Cllr Ferris Cowper, said that he was determined to ensure the early provision of healthcare facilities – and these are now part of the proposals for a new ‘health campus’ at the heart of the new town centre.
Cllr Cowper has been working hard behind the scenes and has secured the interest of a developer who is keen to work with the council and other partners to deliver the facilities by 2019. The developer has considerable experience of the care homes sector and one of our other lead partners is a highly regarded clinical practitioner.
East Hampshire District Council has taken the lead in pursuing top health facilities for the town, even though it is out of its remit, because councillors feel that it is a vital part of the town’s regeneration.
The council has worked with partners involved in health care provision, local doctors, as well as design teams to develop proposals.
The health campus, which could be built in the new town centre, could have purpose-built facilities including:
• an extended primary care centre (with GPs, specialist nurses, therapists, hospital consultants and pharmacists working together to meet the health needs of residents) with access to advice seven days a week
• facilities and expertise to deal with minor injuries and provide diagnostic care to avoid travel to hospitals in Guildford, Basingstoke or Portsmouth
• a dentist – a local convenient service on site
• leisure centre – to support healthy living and rehabilitation e.g. for patients recovering from a heart attack
• ‘care ready homes’ – flats designed specifically to allow vulnerable people who may normally need hospital or residential care to continue to lead independent lives. These homes will be designed to take into account the care needs of future occupiers, so that accidents such as falls or trips are less likely than those living in standard accommodation
• ‘nursing home plus’ – a new nursing home which will care for people with more complex needs
• the campus site will have open spaces with a play area, park and sculptures – all designed to improve health and wellbeing
• a healthy living centre – this will support and inspire people to prioritise their own and their families’ health
• an education hub – this will enable the training and development of care professionals so that they are armed with the knowledge and skills to deliver outstanding care
• a café – will provide opportunities for social interaction and community involvement
Currently, residents have to travel to other locations (in a 30 mile radius) to access some of these vital services.
Chase Hospital will remain an important facility for local people while the new campus is developed. The new campus would encompass all the facilities currently provided by the Chase – as well as the significant state-of-the-art new facilities.
Cllr Cowper said: “East Hampshire District Council has led the work to develop these proposals for a health campus in the new town centre – since I called for it to be provided in January last year.
“Health care is outside East Hampshire District Council’s specific remit but we have been really proactive and led the development of these plans because they are so important to creating a thriving, healthy town where residents have a fantastic quality of life.
“This is a vital facility for Whitehill & Bordon and will be a great example of how a town centre can be planned with health and wellbeing at its very heart.
“As well as plans for a health campus – we are working hard to design a town which promotes health and wellbeing at every turn.
“This will ensure that Whitehill & Bordon is not only a green town but a healthy green town.”