Modern health facilities are finally on the way to Emsworth.
The empty 117-year-old Victoria Cottage Hospital is set to be demolished to make way for a state-of-the-art health centre.
Doctors at Emsworth Surgery have confirmed that NHS Property Services, which owns the historic site, is committed to building a new health facility.
The new building, set to be completed at the end of next year, will be rented by doctors from Emsworth Surgery, which occupies a cramped building in North Street.
Jim Strudwick, chairman of Emsworth and Westbourne patient participation group, said: ‘The Emsworth and Westbourne Surgeries are working under considerable strain with a dramatic increase, in the present period of winter illness, for doctor consultations in person and by telephone.
‘The situation is made worse by staff illness and working in premises which are quite unsuitable for the patient numbers, in a building which was approved for 2,000 patients, there being now over 13,000 on the register.
‘However, there is now hope of better premises being developed on the old Emsworth Cottage Hospital site.
‘At a recent meeting of interested local organisations, Dr Abu Chinwala, a partner involved in negotiations with the Hampshire subsidiary of NHS property services, Community Health Partnership, it was stated that they had appointed a project manager to oversee a new health centre of a suitable size for present and future needs and that the Emsworth partners had also appointed their own project manager to assist with their interests in the new building specification.’
Mr Strudwick said many people would be sad to see the old hospital bulldozed.
‘A lot of people will be sad to see it go but it does not comply with modern building regulations,’ he said.
The new building will have more consulting rooms and it is hoped it will include a pharmacy.
Some concerns have been raised that it may include a commercial element, such as private apartments.
Mr Strudwick said there was a concern about parking if this went ahead.
‘The final design is out of our hands,’ he said.