Progress continues to be made on plans for a ‘one stop shop’ for health as part of the redevelopment of Whitehill and Bordon Town Centre.
The Integrated Care Board (ICB) for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight last week updated the Health and Adult Social Care Select Committee (HASC) of Hampshire County Council on plans for the eagerly-awaited health hub.
The ICB, the Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company (WBRC), East Hampshire District Council, NHS providers and other partners are working together to create a purpose-built facility that will combine primary care (provided by Badgerswood and Forest GP Surgery) and community health services onto a single site, together with services currently provided at Chase Community Hospital.
Artist’s impression of proposed new development at Whitehill andBordon Town Centre including new Health Hub
A report to HASC said the partners in the scheme were committed to the latest delivery dates for the project, which will be a vital part of the wider regeneration plans for the area. The delivery dates reflect a focus by partners to accelerate timescales as much as possible.
Key dates include the detailed design being complete by April 2023, a planning application and full engagement with the local community this summer, construction starting early in 2024 for completion in the summer 2025, enabling site occupation in the third quarter 2025.
In other significant developments:
- Badgerswood and Forest surgery has a Memorandum of Understanding for its Heads of Terms (HOT) for their occupation of the new facility. This will set out the terms of a commercial transaction agreed in principle between the parties involved, and relocation of the Forest surgery and Chase Pharmacy
- Detailed discussions are now taking place with Everyone Active, the local leisure centre operator, to explore providing physiotherapy and gym space for users of the health hub and the wider community – an element not previously planned for the project.
- A steering board has been set up with partners in the development to ensure that partners meet regularly and maintain traction on development milestones.
- Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust (SHFT) has reiterated its commitment to the scheme and has submitted its internal business case which is now subject to internal scrutiny
- Badgerswood and Forest practice are working with WBRC on securing an early presence for its pharmacy in the new town centre ahead of the health hub opening.
Sara Tiller, the ICB’s Managing Director for South East and North and Mid Hampshire, said: “We are in advanced discussions with all partners involved to be able to move forward and engage with the public on delivering the long-awaited health hub at Whitehill and Bordon.
“This is an ambitious and complex project, bringing together different partners under one roof. Engagement with the local population will be a central part of this process and we will ensure patients and residents have the opportunity to formally feedback on our plans to help shape the future of health services in the area.”
Cllr Richard Millard, Leader of East Hampshire District Council, said: “The health hub will be a fantastic facility for the residents of Whitehill & Bordon and it’s great to see it moving forward.
“We will determine the Health Hub planning application, complying with all planning regulations, but at pace as a key infrastructure priority."
“East Hampshire District Council has backed this project throughout, including a £1m grant in 2021. We will continue to work step by step with our partners to see this purpose-built health hub become a reality.”
Dr Anthony Leung, a partner at Badgerswood Surgery, said: “After many years of discussion, planning and hope for urgently new modern health facilities in Whitehill and Bordon, I’m delighted that things are moving in a positive direction.
“This new facility will help us to provide a bespoke building, facilities and primary care and other services to help us meet the growth in our population and the demand for more local services on people’s doorsteps.”James Child, Project Lead at The Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company, said: “With the population of Whitehill & Bordon increasing, we’ve long been pushing for final decisions to be made around exactly what health services will be provided to the town.“Not only have we been asking for services with a far greater capacity than those currently provided, but also for those services to be as comprehensive as possible in order to ensure that, without having to travel further afield, each and every member of the community can access the broadest spectrum of care that the NHS will provide. “We have designed the Health Hub’s premises in such a way as to facilitate the delivery of an holistic, flexible service suitable for the short, medium, and long-term health - both physical and mental - of the town. We’re excited to get on site and start work on what is a vital step forward for the regeneration.”
Robert Smith, Head of Major Disposals for land-owners the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, said: “The promotion and delivery of a new health facility in Whitehill & Bordon is a key asset to our collective ambition to create a green and healthy new town and is one of the most exciting elements of this scheme.
“A huge amount of work has gone by all the partners to get this new facility right in terms of its size, scope and offer to the community of Whitehill & Bordon. I am hugely grateful to everyone who has supported this over the last few years and to have played a part, as well, in securing its future in the town.”
The purpose-built health hub will combine primary (GP) and community health services onto a single site, together with services currently provided at Chase Community Hospital, which will close when the new facility opens.
The hub will be a vital part of the wider redevelopment of the area and is on track to be open to patients and public in the third quarter of 2025.
It will include a GP practice with other health professionals including pharmacists, nurses, dieticians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, paramedics, podiatrists, physician and nursing associates, care co-ordinators, health and wellbeing coaches and social prescribing link workers.
There will also be a range of community services including immunisations and vaccinations, physiotherapy and musculoskeletal services, occupational therapy, a leg ulcer clinic and an oxygen assessment clinic.
Also planned to be included are adult and older person’s mental health services, I-Talk talking therapies, child and adolescent mental health services, midwife and health visitor and children’s services, screening clinics, sexual health services and a substance abuse service. The hub will also be the base for the district nursing team.
The Whitehill and Bordon development includes a number of other organisations:
- Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board (ICB) – the commissioners of health services and funders of health hub space
- East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) – leading the regeneration of Whitehill and Bordon. The relevant planning authority and holders of £461,000 developer contributions for health and a £530,000 grant to support building the health hub.
- The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) - Land owners and development partners with Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company (WBRC)
- Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company (WBRC) - developers of the Town Centre and health hub
- Badgerswood and Forest Surgery – the largest planned tenant in the health hub building
- Other community services (Solent NHS Trust; Sussex Partnership NHS Trust; Inclusion; Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust; Royal Surrey County Hospital) – currently operating services in Chase Community Hospital or at Forest surgery.
- NHS Property Services – the owner and operator of Chase Community Hospital.