PRESSURE is mounting on the NHS to act now to give a town the health facilities it desperately needs.
Alan Mak, the MP for Havant, has vowed to lobby NHS Property Services at the highest level to get them to redevelop the old Emsworth Victoria Cottage Hospital site in North Street.
Residents have been waiting for 10 years for modern healthcare facilities since the old hospital started winding down services in 2005 until its eventual closure two years ago.
A growing population has resulted in the Emsworth Surgery being vastly overstretched – with 13,000 people on the books for a surgery that was meant for 2,000 patients.
Mr Mak said: ‘Emsworth Surgery is an outstanding local NHS practice and we must ensure that their move to a new site happens so local residents get the service they deserve.
‘I will be working with the surgery to press the NHS on this. The former cottage hospital site is centrally located and a logical base for a new Emsworth Surgery.’
Last year the 120-year-old building was due to be auctioned off – sparking fears the site would become another housing development.
But the auction was cancelled at the eleventh hour and the NHS confirmed it was in active negotiations with a view to building a new surgery. Negotiations are ongoing, but there have been no concrete plans thus far.
Dr Jackie Lytton, from Emsworth Surgery, said: ‘We’re delighted Alan is supporting us, and understands our concerns.
‘Emsworth’s residents need the surgery move, and the NHS must start developing the old cottage hospital site for a new surgery facility.’
Lorraine Clode, from the Emsworth Forum, said a new surgery, together with other medical services, was needed on one site.
‘It’s a great shame to see this site vacant and also when there are patients waiting many days for an appointment,’ she said.
‘We feel very strongly that we do need an extended general practice.’
An Emsworth Forum meeting about future healthcare provision takes place at Emsworth Community Centre from 7pm to 9pm tomorrow.