May 21 2013 Latest news:
Ramzy Alwakeel, Reporter
Monday, February 18, 2013
The NHS will sell off up to 90 per cent of the St George’s Hospital site, it revealed today.
Cash from the sale would be used to redevelop the Suttons Lane site into a “centre of excellence for older people” that could see a new building housing GP services, community health services, social workers and other professionals.
The plans form part of a consultation that runs until May. Seven options have been identified by Havering’s Clinical Commissioning Group, one of them being to do nothing but the bare minimum of repairs.
But all seven would involve selling some of the site to pay for what the CCG considers necessary work.
Whatever is decided, the outpatient services moved to other centres following a Legionella outbreak will eventually return to the site.
But rehab beds, dispersed in October amid fears the heating system wouldn’t last the winter, will only return if a second consultation deems them necessary.
The group’s preferred option – creating a new GP surgery and a range of services for older people in a new centre on the site – involves selling all the existing buildings, which were built in the 1930s. Ten per cent of the estate would remain in NHS hands.
Victoria Johnson-Messore, whose elderly father received rehab care at St George’s last year, said the estate should be preserved and ideally used as part of the hospital.
“It’s wonderful architecture,” she told the Recorder. “Everyone I’ve spoken to says the same thing.
“It’s so beautiful – that’s what gives the place that atmosphere.
“There are wonderful day rooms – it’s so spacious.”
The local Labour group moved at the last council meeting that the site’s future should “reflect its long-standing historical medical and community care relationship with the local community”.
The motion was not debated because of time constraints. The CCG is now in discussions with Havering Council over the best use of the land it sells, and has yet to advertise for a buyer.
Chair Dr Atul Aggarwal said: “The redevelopment of the site provides us with a unique opportunity to do something really positive and long lasting for our local community – particularly for older people with our proposed centre of excellence – now and in the years to come.
“We want to make sure limited NHS resources are used in a way that most benefits Havering residents.”
You can read the proposals in full and have your say by visiting www.haveringccg.nhs.uk.
The CCG will also hold drop-in sessions at Hornchurch Library (March 14, 2-7pm) and Romford Central library (April 2, 2-7pm).