December 8 2013 Latest news:
By Matthew Gooding
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Work has started on a “master plan” for the future of Royston hospital.
NHS Property Services told Royston’s MP Oliver Heald that they are putting together “a detailed project master plan” for the London Road site, which will include clinics, NHS beds, a care home and a GPs surgery.
The plan will be available next spring and community representatives and local groups will be fully involved in the process.
Mr Heald and South Cambridgeshire MP Andrew Lansley met Martin Royal and Andrew Geddes from NHS Property Services last week, while county councillors Fiona Hill and Tony Hunter were also informed of the news at a meeting on Friday.
Mr Heald said: “This was a very constructive meeting and I was impressed with the commitment of the Property Services team to the Royston project.
“Of course, exactly what services, or extra services, are provided on the hospital site is up to the commissioning bodies.”
Previously it had been announced the hospital would close and be replaced by a private care home, with clinics transferring to Royston Health Centre.
But following lobbying from campaigners, who had the hospital site registered as a community asset earlier this year, NHS Property Services appear to have had a change of heart.
Magaret Allen, from the Royston Hospital Action Group (RHAG) said: “RHAG are delighted to hear that Oliver Heald’s meeting was a success. It is a real step in the right direction. RHAG has attended several meetings with (health care commissioning body) CATCH and NHS Property Services over the last few weeks and had remained quiet, at their request, while they were preparing their plans for the site.
“We were reassured at our meetings about the progress being made and we are pleased that plans continue to progress. RHAG will continue to work hard to achieve the best possible outcome. We will be seeking reassurances about the ongoing ownership of the land which was originally purchased by the people of Royston and area.”
John Davies, from the Friends of Royston Hospital, added: “The assurances given that they are working towards a development plan, including all of the functions and facilities we have all been fighting for, is most welcome.
“We are extremely grateful to the Community Interest Company who have gone to enormous lengths to demonstrate the potential of the site and many of their ideas are being pursued in the planning.
“We look forward to a continuing dialogue with the department and assisting them where possible to produce the ideal plans for appraisal in the spring.”