New vision for Royston health care revealed

Royston Hospital faces an emergency closure

Royston Hospital faces an emergency closure - Credit: Archant

A NEW vision for Royston hospital, which would see a “world class” medical centre built on site, have been unveiled.

A group of local businessmen, operating under the name Royston and District Community Healthcare, want to buy the site and establish a Primary Care Clinic offering a wide range of medical treatments, as well as an education centre for healthcare professionals. There would also be space for a 50-bed care home and the opportunity to develop “flexi-care” housing for vulnerable adults.

The clinic would be run as a not-for-profit community interest company, protecting the site for future generations.

In a document entitled a “Vision for Royston”, the group states: “We foresee such a model forming the basis of healthcare in the future, bringing the necessary skills and technologyinto the community while strengthening close links and communication between Primary and Secondary Care. This could ultimately break down those historical barriers to create a single seamless Health Service.”

The future of the hospital has been in doubt since NHS Property Services announced plans to close down the hospital, sell the land, and turn it into a privately-run care home.

However, strong local opposition led to health bosses taking a “pause for reflection” to consider whether they should keep medical clinic on the site.

Martin Lewis is part of the group behind Royston and District Community Healthcare, which also includes Royston GP Peter Gough.

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He said: “We’ve been working on this for the last five months or so, supporting the Royston Hospital Action Group. They’ve done great work with their campaign and getting the land registered as a community asset.

“The centre would be not-for-profit, its not about any of us making money. We just want to see top class medical facilities in Royston.”

Mr Lewis added that the group was waiting to hear whether NHS Property Services would be prepared to sell the land to them.

Royston MP Oliver Heald said: ““Although this plan is only really in its preliminary stages, I think it looks like it could be really good for residents and, once the report has been made available in full, I will put my full support behind it.

There are a lot of people involved in making a plan like this work and all kinds of provisions have to be put in place on all sides but I hope we can see this through to its fruition.”