03 July 2007,

South Derbyshire LIFT reaches stage 1 approval for £20 million community hospital in Ashbourne

New community hospital and health centre set to be one of the largest developments in Ashbourne for generations

A landmark health construction project for Ashbourne is a step closer. A new full planning application for a brand new £20m community hospital and health centre for the town has been submitted by Southern Derbyshire Local Improvement Finance Trust Company (LIFT), a public private partnership which will build and maintain the new building for Derbyshire County Primary Care Trust (PCT).

If approved by planners as expected, the 7000 square metre state-of-the-art facility will be built on a brownfield site adjacent to Clifton Road and will replace the outdated Ashbourne Health Centre on Compton Street and St Oswalds Community Hospital. It is set to benefit over 35,000 local people.

Construction work is due to start in September, with the building due to open its doors to patients in early 2010.

The three-storey community hospital will be designed for rehabilitation and care of the elderly, with 24 beds in four bed bays and single rooms with ensuite bathrooms. It will include physiotherapy and occupational therapy departments along with diagnostics (x-ray and ultrasound).

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, chiropody, podiatry, community clinics and phlebotomy, along with outpatient services.

A pharmacy will be relocating from the town centre and the hospital will also have a café and plenty of car parking. With all these services to be provided under one roof the centre will improve local access to health care and provide an enhanced range of modern and integrated health services. 

Steve Maleham, Southern Derbyshire LIFT Company's general manager said: "This proposed community hospital and health centre is set to be just what the doctor ordered -it is a significant development for Ashbourne which will contribute to the regeneration of that part of town .

" Not only is it great news for the people of Ashbourne and the surrounding area, it is a flagship project for Southern Derbyshire LIFT Company and an important part of our programme of investment in new health and social care buildings across Southern Derbyshire."

Tracy Allen, Derbyshire County PCT's director of provider development added: " This great new building planned will provide the opportunity for the range of health services to work together in a fit for purpose building that is specifically designed to tackle issues such as infection control and disabled access. Unfortunately the existing St Oswalds Community Hospital would need huge investment and does not provide future flexibility to adapt to changing health service needs in the 21st century. This new development presents the opportunity to further improve levels of health care delivered in the Ashbourne area."

The scheme received full planning permission last year, but another application has been re-submitted following a service review by Derbyshire County PCT.