New Emsworth surgery has funding approved after months of campaigning
NEW life will be breathed into a former hospital shut for more than six years when it is converted into a new £4m GP surgery.
Campaigners have told of their delight that work at Victoria Cottage Hospital in Emsworth, decommissioned in April 2013, will start this year.
Emsworth Surgery will be relocated into the North Street facility, moving from its current home designed for when it had 2,000 patients on its books. It now has 13,000.
Dwynwen Stepien from Emsworth United, set up when the hospital was put up for sale in July 2018, said: ‘For us this means better facilities for our community in a lovely site because our current GP surgery is small and outdated.
‘A lot of people wanted the hospital because of emotional ties to it but when there was a study it was also the most feasible option as well and thanks to all the groups in Emsworth coming together, doctors, and the CCG, who have also been fantastic, we have achieved it.’
More than £4m of funding has been secured from the NHS and campaigners are eager to see work start by the end of this month.
Dr Abu Chinwala, partner at Emsworth Surgery, said: ‘I think that most people know that we have wanted - and needed - new premises for a very long time, so this is truly welcome news.
‘It has been heartening to receive so much support from the people of Emsworth, and to know just how much they value our service, and how they want us to be able to grow and improve.’
David Bailey, deputy managing director of NHS South Eastern Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group, added: ‘My team has worked tirelessly with all of our partners to help to bring about this very welcome result.
‘We hope that we are now firmly on the right track to give people in Emsworth what they need – a practice which can grow, and provide them with a wider range of services.’
A consultation was held to determine the hospital as the best site for the surgery.
The Emsworth Victoria Cottage Hospital was paid for and built by the community and opened in 1898. In 1948 it was taken over by the NHS.
Havant MP Alan Mak fought against the sale in 2018. He said: ‘I'm delighted construction is due to start early next year. I've campaigned for a new Emsworth GP surgery since 2015 working with local doctors, the NHS and community groups - and this news is a great result for the whole community.’