Ambitious plans for Shipston’s Ellen Badger Hospital take shape

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THE focus on tacking the coronavirus has not stopped health bosses with making progress on plans for a new vision for services in Shipston based on the Ellen Badger Hospital.

Ambitious plans to create what is being termed, ‘A modern integrated health and wellbeing community hub’ for the town and surrounding area have continued to take shape thanks to virtual working.

The project is being driven by South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, Shipston Medical Centre and other partners with a role in improving provision in the area.

The recent work has looked at the design of the site, looking at the impact on the existing inpatient and community facilities, access to the site and how it fits with the town.

Consideration was given to developing the site in stages or in one go and the decision has been taken to complete it as a single project to minimise disruption to care and avoid extra costs.

This will need patients to be temporarily relocated and more details of how this is achieved will be set out in due course.

At this early stage of proposals, designs of the new building – which are subject to change – include the following key features:

– Outpatients, Day Hospital, Diagnostics and part of the GP Practice being located on the ground floor. They would be accessed via a shared area which provides reception, waiting, café and facilities to support general health and wellbeing activities

– Inpatients, the remainder of the GP practice as well as meeting areas being located on the first floor and easily accessed via the lifts and staircase located at the front of the development

– The remainder of the staff accommodation including offices, meeting space, welfare and storage being distributed across both the second and third floors which can be accessed via lift or staircases

– Two separate car parking areas will be installed, with the main car park situated on the left designed to compensate against known flood risks

– Space will be available to enable the mobile units to be located on the site, helping the services on offer to be flexible and responsive to healthcare needs.

From this point there are a number of steps to be taken including reviewing the plans in light of the impact of coronavirus, consulting with a range of experts on the plans, submitting a pre-planning application to Stratford District Council, working up the costings and then putting a business case to the foundation trust board and the clinical commissioning group’s primary care committee during the summer.

Trust chief executive Glen Burley said: “Given that the last few months have been very challenging in healthcare, it is great to be able progress with plans for something that will be really positive and enhance the services for our local communities in Shipston and the surrounding areas.

“Whilst these are initial proposals, it is still exciting to be looking to the future and working closely with our partners, including Shipston Medical Centre, to ensure we are providing the best care we can, in a cost effective and joined up approach.”