The Great NHS Gamble: Fears over secret list of buildings which could be sold off as part of healthcare shake-up

A patient talks to a GP Picture posed by models
A patient talks to a GP Picture posed by models

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PLANS to slash £577m from the NHS budget include a secret list of buildings that could be sold off for housing, The News can reveal.

As part of a shake-up designed to fill an estimated national £22bn NHS financial black hole by April 2021, senior figures in Hampshire plan to axe £24m from their estates budget.

Analysis by this newspaper and our sister titles in Johnston Press of the 44 regional blueprints drawn up by health service leaders to remodel the NHS – a process which critics complain has largely bypassed clinicians and patients – has revealed the extent of the drastic changes to care the government wants by April 2021.

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MORE: ALL HOSPITAL SERVICES ‘UNDER REVIEW’

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While there are few details in Hampshire’s plan, The News has obtained a confidential document revealing buildings – including GP surgeries and walk-in centres – have been classed as being beyond economic life or surplus to requirement.

Those behind the list say it does not necessarily mean they will shut but could be earmarked for development.

But it comes as new figures reveal £194m is needed to carry out the sweeping changes to the healthcare system in the county, while only £119m has been earmarked – but not yet awarded – by the government.

The plan says: ‘Release surplus land for housing and reducing operating costs in our buildings.’

Analysis of the county’s strategy, known as a Sustainability and Transformation Plan, reveals patients in Hampshire will see the NHS:

* Training non-clinical staff to triage patients instead of granting GP appointments.

* Reducing A&E pressure by sending 36,000 patients to 24/7 community urgent care, having 18,000 patients managed in primary care and treating 6,000 people online.

* Setting up of ‘health hubs’, including one in Cosham.

* Centralising specialist medics, including opening up QA Hospital’s Da Vinci robot to patients county-wide.

‘It’s a very difficult problem, in order to make the service more sustainable requires a lot of money up front,’ said Councillor Luke Stubbs, the cabinet member for adult social care and health on Portsmouth City Council.

He added: ‘Where is that going to come from is going to be a real challenge.’

Nationally, the plans represent the fruit of more than a year of consultations between more 440 NHS organisations and 152 local authorities.

But despite a timetable that will see them finalised this year, with far-reaching consequences for some 55 million people, the STPs are almost unknown to the public.

Dr Timothy Whelan, Hampshire ambassador for the Royal College of General Practitioners, said: ‘The STP is full of bold statements that savings will be made and various idealistic goals will be achieved, painting an idealistic picture without really explaining the details of how any of this will be achieved. The financial restrictions are colossal, and could only be achieved by a massive reduction (not extension) of services.’

And campaigners have raised concerns parts of the NHS could be sold off.

Two Fareham care homes on the secret list, which has 29 properties in this area, have already been taken over by a private provider.

Campaigner Jerry Brown, from Portsmouth, has lobbied for further details. He said: ‘I’m concerned about privatisation, in future, of NHS services.’

Richard Samuel, who has drawn up Hampshire’s STP, said: ‘I recognise the challenges are huge, there’s actually no complacency about the scale of the challenge.

‘The real honesty in this is that the “do nothing” cost is not acceptable.’

BUILDINGS ON THE SECRET LIST

* Aerodrome House, Fratersgate Business Park, Gosport.

* Children’s and adolescent services at Alpha Court, Segensworth.

* Learning disabilities care home at Dimensions 41 Birdwood Grove (private company in November 2016).

* Fareham Health Centre, Civic Way, Osborne Road.

* Land near Fareham Community Hospital.

* Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub at The Parkway in Wickham Road, Fareham.

* Care home Parkcroft, Winchester Road, Wickham, already sold.

* Portchester Health Centre, West Street, Portchester.

* The Potteries No 6, Wickham, Road, Fareham (left December 2016).

* The Potteries No 7, Wickham, Road, Fareham (management base with county council).

* Sharland House, High Street, Fareham.

* Care home Tensing 3, Kiln Lane, Fareham (private firm took over in November).

* Fareham Ambulance Station in Highlands Road, Fareham. (original plan to turn into nursing home)

* Cosham Health Centre, Vectis Way, Cosham (North Harbour Medical Group).

* Guildhall Walk Health Centre, Portsmouth (under review).

* Highclere Land, Northern Road, Portsmouth.

* Jubilee House, Medina Road, Cosham (GP and inpatients).

* Kingston Crescent Surgery, Kingston Crescent, Portsmouth (GP and Southern Health’s eating disorder clinics).

* Paulsgrove Healthy Living Centre, Allaway Avenue.

* Pompey Centre, Fratton Way.

* All of St James’s Hospital Kite, Orchards, Oakdene, Kestrel Centre, Nelson Drive, Baytrees, Falcon House.

* Denmead Health Centre, Hambledon Road (GPs, IT & Southern).

* Dunsbury Way Clinic, Havant (Substance misuse at Orion Centre run by Solent).

* Emsworth Surgery, North Street, Emsworth (vacant).

* Suite D at Havant Health Centre (Centre has GPs, Southern, children’s base, phlebotomy, physiotherapy).

* Land at Hayling Island Health Centre.

* Oak Park Land at 8 Lavant Drive (Oak Park Children’s Services).

* Buildings at Fort Southwick, including ComCEN, finance and gym.

* Ravenswood House, Knowle (Southern Health - substance misuse, young adults, diagnostics and screening).