Proposals for what would feature in the town’s new hospital have been revealed.
In an exclusive interview with the Whitby Gazette, health chiefs outlined the latest plans and believe that work could be underway within three years.
A draft document shows the hospital – set to be rebuilt on the site of the existing one – will have a 28-bed ward, mainly for high intensity rehabilitation services.
There will also be a wellbeing centre offering support around weight, alcohol and smoking related conditions; physiotherapy department and a dental suite.
In addition, the minor injuries unit will be retained and there will be outpatient services for x-ray and ultrasound, podiatry, children’s services, speech and hearing and orthotics.
The drawn up list of services comes after a first round of consultation with the public and other agencies and will be put back out for feedback in the New Year.
The Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which is now responsible for health care in the town said it was by no means a definitive list.
A new hospital would occupy less than 30 per cent of the site of the current one.
This will allow for extra developments to be included in and help finance the project.
That is likely to be in the form of new build private housing and an extra care housing scheme in conjunction with North Yorkshire County Council.
It will allow the elderly to live independently in their own accommodation but have support on hand.
The report says: “The remainder of the site can therefore be used for extra care housing and private housing which could in turn fund the hospital re-development. The transfer of land/assets to either a developer or the local authority to facilitate the redevelopment is currently being reviewed but it is hoped this can be acheived.”
In addition to further consultations about the list of services the CCG will be commissioning an options appraisal into the finances required.
Although it is not known how much the re-development is set to cost it is initially expected to be within the £5 million it currently costs per year to run Whitby Hospital.
That figure takes into account heating and lighting bills, staff wages and the provision of community nursing facilities.
To perform an x-ray, for example, would be additional to that, as are consultants appointments which cost up to £170 per person.
The CCG, which took over provision of health services from the PCT last year, was also left with a £1.7 million budget deficit.
It is on course to have eradicated that shortfall by the end of the year by making savings across the board which will be ploughed back into care for the community.
Dr George Campbell from Whitby Group Practice, deputy chair of the CCG, said: “The quality is better. We are having treatments done closer to home but there is no question of patients being referred to hospital if they need to be.
“But, we are very excited about the whole thing and anxious that we will deliver because talk is cheap and we will be judged on whether we deliver.”
The CCG is looking for feedback on the proposals and sessions will be held in the new year. Access the document via www.hambletonrichmondshireandwhitbyccg.nhs.uk