NHS bosses have given the green light for construction work to start on the new community hospital in Clitheroe.
Work will start this month to build a new two-storey 4,050 square metre hospital which healthcare bodies say will revolutionise health care provision in the Ribble Valley.
Health bosses say the current hospital is out-dated and not sustainable to deliver the appropriate level of clinical services the Ribble Valley requires. This can only be achieved through a new and modern facility which will be located on vacant land off Chatburn Road/Pimlico Link Road.
There will be 32 in-patient beds, of which 16 will be single rooms, and all will be equipped with en suite facilities. The four-by-four bed bays will also have en suite facilities to each bed.
An integrated therapies suite, bringing together rehabilitation, physiotherapy and occupational therapy will help people recover quicker and support people in their own homes.
Waiting areas will have seating of varied height, width and space for wheelchair users and internal finishes, colours and textures will be carefully chosen to provide the best possible environment for patients.
Dr Ian Whyte, local GP and chairman of the Ribblesdale Locality Commissioning Group, said: “This is great news and something we have long campaigned for. The new facilities will enable us to commission services for local people closer to home and ensure effective local health services in the Ribble Valley for many years to come.
“The new community hospital will provide state-of-the-art facilities fit for 21st Century health care and support to GP commissioners in responding to the health needs of local patients.”
Jackie Hadwen, chief executive of the East Lancashire Building Partnership, added: “Approval of the scheme is a testament to everyone’s hard work across a number of organisations, including (the shadow) East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group, Ribble Valley Borough Council, NHS East Lancashire and the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.”
East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust operates the majority of services at the current hospital. Adele Thornburn, community hospitals manager at the Trust, commented: “I am very proud of all the staff at Clitheroe Hospital who have worked really hard to help secure this development. We are looking forward to having the finished hospital ready for patients in 2014”.
Physically, the building which will be welcoming and in-keeping with its surroundings, has been designed to achieve a Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method excellent rating, thanks to it including a range of energy efficient measures.
The development will also include hard and soft landscaping to create attractive open public spaces, while all surface finishes, street furniture, boundary walls and fences, pedestrian and vehicle gates, external lighting and planting will be of high quality and maintained to a high standard.
A potential future residential redevelopment on the current Clitheroe Community Hospital site is the subject of a separate outline application for planning permission.
The scheme is being led by East Lancashire Building Partnership, working with the NHS locally, and the hospital will be built by the Eric Wright Construction. Construction.
East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group will be taking over the role of health commissioner for Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Ribble Valley and Rossendale in April and it aims to make sure the health needs of its 371,000 residents are met better than ever before.
It will receive a budget from the Department of Health to plan and pay for local NHS services. This includes commissioning planned hospital care, rehabilitative care, urgent and emergency care, most community health services, and mental health and learning disability services. It will not manage local NHS hospitals, which are independent trusts, but will pay for many of the services they offer.