18 January 2008,

New Ashbourne facility a step closer


New Ashbourne facility a step closer

Derbyshire County Primary Care Trust (PCT) has announced that it has completed the purchase of land, a three acre brown field site adjacent to Clifton Road, Ashbourne, on which a proposed £20million community hospital and health centre is to be built.

The scheme, which received planning approval in September 2007, will see the development of a 7000 square metre, state-of-the-art facility that will replace the Ashbourne Health Centre on Compton Street and St Oswald's Community Hospital. It is set to benefit over 35,000 local people.

Southern Derbyshire Local Improvement Finance Trust Company (LIFT), a public private partnership is responsible for the design, planning, development and maintenance of the new building for Derbyshire County Primary Care Trust (PCT).

Remediation work is kicking off this week to clear the site for development, which is due to take 10 weeks to complete. It involves stripping vegetation, to be monitored by an ecologist to guard against any adverse environmental effects. Japanese Knot Weed, a virulent plant which causes damage to foundations of buildings, will be excavated and removed. The ground will also be levelled in readiness for the start of construction work in April, pending the exchange of contracts 'financial close' planned for the end of March.

Tracy Allen, PCT director of provider development, said: "The land purchase is a significant step towards this great new facility in Ashbourne. Assuming the business case receives approval, we hope building work proper can commence in the Spring. We want to involve local people in making the new health facilities the centre of community activity in Ashbourne and, in the same way as St Oswald's Hospital, become a landmark that everyone in the area is proud of."

Steve Maleham, general manager of the South Derbyshire LIFT Company said: "The remedial works will prepare the site for construction. To meet planning requirements we have a responsibility to minimise environmental impact, so we are working closely with an ecologist who will be monitoring our building contractors' activity over the next few weeks. The main construction works will include a programme of landscaping and re-planting to create a new health campus which is sympathetic to the local environment."

The three-storey community hospital will be designed to provide 21st century care, primarily for the local population. In a separate part of the same building, the two-storey health centre will house a range of healthcare services including five GPs (Dr MacLeod and Partners practice), community nursing, health visitors, podiatry, community clinics and phlebotomy, along with outpatient services. A pharmacy will be relocating from the town centre.

The development is an important part of Southern Derbyshire LIFT Company's £40m programme of investment in new health and social care buildings across Southern Derbyshire.

The PCT will be setting up a local patient group to help steer the project as it enters this new exciting phase and into the future. Further details on how local people can be involved will be made available from the PCT shortly.

For further information please contact:

Jo Garner
PR Consultant - Southern Derbyshire LIFT Company
Tel: 0116 263 4945 
M: 07979 800 897
Email: jo.garner@primaryplus-online.co.uk

Notes to Editors:

Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) is a government initiative to supplement investment in primary and social care and community premises nationwide, some of which are in real need of modernisation.

This is being achieved locally through Southern Derbyshire LIFT Company Ltd, a public private partnership which is owned by private sector partner Primary Plus Ltd (a joint venture between John Laing plc and Bank of Scotland), two local primary care trusts (Derby City and Derbyshire County), along with the Department of Health's Community Health Partnerships.

Southern Derbyshire LIFTCo has seven operational schemes:

  • Long Eaton Health Centre - a £9.6m 'one stop shop' incorporating a broad range of primary and secondary care services. 

  • Eden Surgery - a £750,000 practice extension and refurbishment at Ilkeston

  • The Lighthouse - a £2.5m respite care facility for disabled children in Derby 

  • Swadlincote Primary Care Centre - a £4.7m facility housing PCT and GP services

  • Alfreton Primary Care Centre - a £7m medical centre housing PCT and GP services 

  • Village Community Medical Centre - a £4.1m health centre in Derby housing GP and PCT services

  • Coleman Health Centre - a £5.5m health centre in Derby housing a range of GP and community health services

More information is available at www.sderbyshirelift.com

Derbyshire County Primary Care Trust (PCT) is the NHS body responsible for improving and protecting the health and well-being of the people of Derbyshire.

The Trust was established on 1 October 2006, following the merger of six former primary care trusts in Derbyshire (Amber Valley PCT, Chesterfield PCT, Derbyshire Dales and South Derbyshire PCT, Erewash PCT, High Peak and Dales PCT, North Eastern Derbyshire PCT).

The Trust is the eighth largest primary care trust in the country, and currently serves a population of 712,000.

Further information about the Trust can be found at www.derbyshirecountypct.nhs.uk