£50m re-development of Ely hospital unveiled - work could start in a year if Government agrees funding
- Credit: Archant
Health chiefs are to pitch for a £50m re-development of the Princess of Wales hospital, Ely, and work could start within a year.
Despite the massive upheaval whilst work is carried out, the hospital will continue existing services whilst the new facilities are built.
Matthew Winn, chief executive of Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, which owns the hospital site, believes the work will secure health services at Ely for generations to come.
He said it will “deliver more day surgery, outpatient, diagnostic and urgent (but not emergency) care services, closer to people’s homes”.
Health chiefs cautioned against any possibility of an A&E department opening there.
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“This isn’t the case – the redevelopment does not include an A&E facility,” said one trust source.
£50million is a ball park figure for the modernisation and re-building of the hospital with initial cost calculated at between £45-49million.
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SE Cambs MP Lucy Frazer promised to “engage with local organisations as they develop their plans, and I will make every effort to secure the necessary funding at a national level”.
Mr Winn expects the re-development to take three years and hopes that work can start at the end of 2021.
“A planning application will be submitted in the New Year,” he said.
“There has been a broad consensus of support for redevelopment of the hospital for several years from local commissioners and providers of services on site and other key stakeholders.”
He said the plans would achieve:
Modern premises to replace out-dated facilities (retaining the day surgery unit)
More day surgery, outpatient, diagnostic and urgent (but not emergency) care services, closer to people’s homes. All current services will remain on the hospital site
More joined-up care across health and social care services, including for frail elderly people and those living with long term conditions
More physical space to meet the needs of a growing population, reducing the need for people to travel to Cambridge for some services
A new car park (no more than four levels) to address the lack of parking on site
Harnessing of digital technology to deliver modern healthcare including virtual consultations
He added: “Our partners are also exploring opportunities to use the site for other community priorities such as a care home to meet the needs of residents.
Ms Frazer said: “Ensuring that first-class health services are available within proximity is a critical local need.
“To ensure this, it is vital that we expand access to services to those in and around Ely, improving access to integrated services, including outpatient, diagnostic, and urgent care.”
Covid-19 restrictions preclude residents being invited to view initial plans face to face.
However, people are encouraged to visit Cambridgeshire Community Services (CCS) NHS Trust’s website between December 1-14 to view a virtual exhibition and share their feedback prior to submission of the planning application.
Two online virtual engagement events will be held to provide an opportunity to find out more and ask questions about the site redevelopment. Information on the dates, times, and details for accessing these online events will be available on the website from December 1.