Please see below a letter from our Chair Atul Aggarwal with an update regarding the St Georges Redevelopment.
I wanted to update you on plans to create a health and wellbeing centre on the St George’s hospital site in Hornchurch.
As you know, last year we consulted on the redevelopment of the site and the preferred option included a ‘centre of excellence’ for older people, which would house GPs, a diagnostic centre and a joint team of health and social care professionals.
In the months following the consultation, the CCG has been working on the detail of what the services should look like and how much they would cost. Due to changes in the way the NHS reviews and funds capital projects like this, the administrative processes of documenting and seeking approval for our plans for the St George’s site had to effectively begin again.
There has been a complete change in emphasis nationally from looking to develop a particular site under the previous arrangements, to the CCG submitting a business case that sets out the clinical need for services in the local area.
We want to make it clear that Havering CCG remains committed to developing a health and wellbeing centre on the St George’s site and we continue to work hard to make the case for just that.
The previous submission by the CCG has now been redrafted to fit the new system, and we are hopeful of getting approval to develop an Outline Business Case from NHS England in September. We share your frustrations over the lengthy decision making process, but we have little influence over it.
This new process has, however, allowed us to include the very latest developments around the GPs’ element of our plans, which is good news. We are now able to take into account the most recent improvements to primary care services as part of our plans. These include the successful bid to the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund around access, the need to have the very latest IT available to our GPs for integrated care, more focussed care for patients with complex care needs, and the emerging GP Federations, who may provide some of the services we believe we need locally. We can also now include elements of our plans for reprocuring urgent care services in our area.
As we’ve said before, we want to be able to provide an educational element to the new centre to allow patients – particularly those with long term conditions – to learn to better manage their condition, with the appropriate clinical support. We also want to include the voluntary sector as part of this support network because we recognise the important part other organisations have to play in local health care, and we will look to accommodate them with space and facilities in any new centre.
These recent developments will help us to demonstrate, not only the local need, but the need for services to be provided from a dedicated, new build centre as originally planned. They also demonstrate the need for the space to be flexible enough to incorporate future developments – one of the reasons we have said we need 15% of the site, rather than the original 10% we planned.
We are not waiting for the September decision. The CCG has already started work on producing an outline business case which will build on some of the detailed work that has already been carried out and will enable us to move at pace in the next phase.
We hope that this update has demonstrated our commitment to providing a new health and wellbeing centre for residents of Havering. We will continue developing the outline business case and will update you again once we have the September decision from the NHS England committee.