Building work to start on new £3.7m clinic

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CONSTRUCTION will start on Havant’s new £3.7m community hospital after the NHS finally signed a deal with the contractors.

Builders will move on to the Oak Park site, off Lavant Drive, next Tuesday.

NHS bosses have spent the summer fine-tuning a deal with the developer, Solent Community Solutions Ltd, and this week all the contracts were signed off.

The development will see the transformation of the six-acre site and the building of a new nursing centre for elderly patients.

The Oak Park Children’s Centre, built four years ago, will be extended and a frontage built to house a new waiting area.

The facility – to be called Oak Park Community Clinic – is set to open in November next year.

It will include outpatient services to cater for up to 24,000 people a year and diagnostics, such as X-ray, for up to 26,000 patients.

Therapies such as physiotherapy and podiatry will be offered.

County councillor for Leigh Park and Bedhampton Ann Buckley was delighted work is finally beginning after many years of delays.

She said: ‘There was a real outcry when the plans for the hospital fell through.

‘Councillors kept the pressure up on the NHS to have the services that were originally planned for the hospital provided here in Havant. It is terrific that the finance is fully in place and we look forward to the work starting.

‘A huge amount of consultation, planning and hard work has brought about a good and innovative health facility for Havant.’

Inger Hebden, director of capital planning at NHS Hampshire, said: ‘We’re delighted to have reached financial close for the scheme to develop Oak Park Community Clinic.

‘It means that work can now begin and the local community are one step closer to benefiting from first-class local NHS services in Havant.

‘We developed our plans after lots of discussions with people living in Havant, Waterlooville and the surrounding areas and are really excited that these are being put in place.’

Some of the funding for the clinic will come from the sale of Havant’s War Memorial Hospital, which is due to close at the end of September.

Emsworth’s Victoria Cottage Hospital is set to remain open until the Oak Park Community Clinic opens.

Alastair Gourlay, director of Solent Community Solutions, said: ‘Oak Park Community Clinic will be the sixth facility we have developed over recent years for NHS Hampshire and we are really pleased to have made such swift progress in the planning and development phase for the work.’