Homes sell-off proposal for Harpenden hospital complex

PUBLISHED: 17:00 24 May 2016

Harpenden Memorial Hospital.

Harpenden Memorial Hospital.

Archant

A health trust is planning to purchase part of a hospital complex and sell off the remainder of the site to enable it to carry out a major redevelopment.

Harpenden Memorial Hospital.Harpenden Memorial Hospital.

Herts Community NHS Trust (HCT) has made no secret of its desire to create a new state-of-the-art health facility in Harpenden.

And it has now said that that it plans to purchase The Stewarts, a building on the Harpenden Memorial Hospital site in Carlton Road, and fund a major redevelopment by selling off the rest of the site.

The Stewarts is currently home to an in-patient unit run by the local mental health trust.

HCT is planning to redevelop the building and provide a range of clinical and therapy rooms for children and adult health services.

Among the adult services to be offered will be bladder and bowel care, a diabetes service, a Parkinson’s specialist nurse service, podiatry and retinal screening.

Children’s services will take in health visiting, including baby and post-natal clinics, and speech and language therapy.

HCT also wants to continue arrangements that are already in place with the Luton and Dunstable, West Herts and Lister Hospitals for services such as blood clinics, ophthalmology and plastic surgery clinics.

Other possible services that could be provided in the new building include physiotherapy and hospital diagnostic services, such as X-rays.

The proposals were spelled out to The Harpenden Society earlier this year by HCT chief executive David Law who said at the time that because of its age and functional unsuitability, the Red House building on the site could not be part of the projected development.

The intention was to sell it to generate funding for a new health and wellbeing centre.

Mr Law said this week that the announcement built on the HCT pledge to make the proposals a reality for patients in Harpenden.

He went on: “As a community NHS trust we are committed to ensuring we support local people, not just when they need health interventions, but to help them stay healthy and lead happy lives regardless of their age.”

“I’m delighted to announce that local charities and support groups will benefit from having use of some of the new building. It could be used for weight management sessions, yoga classes and support groups, all of which will address a wellbeing agenda.”

HCT is currently talking with local health services, including the neighbouring GP practice, about how best to improve car parking on the site.

And if everything goes to plan, building work will start in 2018 with the new facility scheduled to open in Spring 2019.

Mr Law added: “The next two years provides us with a fantastic opportunity to work with local people to ensure they have the services they need for the future and to support the community’s wellbeing and issues such as social isolation.”

To join the trust and have a say about the future use of The Stewarts contact feedback@hct.nhs.uk

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