First glimpse of new Whitby hospital plan

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This is what the new Whitby Hospital could look like.

It is the first time that artist impressions of the proposed rebuild have been revealed publicly along with more detailed plans about the radical revamp of the current site.

The Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby CCG, a collective of GPs, have been working on their vision for the future of healthcare in Whitby and in particular the future of Whitby Hospital.

They presented plans at a health scrutiny meeting on Friday and they are expected to be rubber stamped next month.

Re-modelling the hospital on the current site is set to cost over £6 million but has still been deemed cheaper than demolition and re-location of the hospital to another site.

After months at the drawing board and consultations with the public and other organisations, the CCG has outlined what it hopes will happen over the coming months.

With 75% of the hospital site currently being unused it is envisaged that current services can continue but will be delivered from other parts of the site, as separate sections are being re-developed.

Whitby GP, Dr George Campbell said: “It is the most radical of the changes that we are doing.

“These are bricks and mortar, but it is not bricks and mortar that save someone’s life.

“Whitby is only 25% occupied. That is a huge waste of space and resources.”

Extra-care housing will be built on the site which allows patients with complex health needs to remain in their own homes but have access to medical facilities.

The ‘health campus’, as it is being dubbed, will have community nursing, inpatient services, occupational therapy, rehabilitation services, a minor injuries unit, outpatients facilities and out of hours GP access.

Sarah Ferguson, a senior delivery manager with the CCG, said: “At the moment Whitby has some inequalities. They don’t have cover beyond 11pm and they have minor injuries but not 24/7.

“One of the biggest changes is making sure people get access to clinical decision makers on a 24/7 basis.”

She added that there had been huge support from local people for a hospital facility at the current site.

A demolition and rebuild in another location would have cost in the region of £9 million and has been ruled out.

The idea was also shelved because there is a lack of alternative sites.

This is despite talk earlier this year of a hospital being built as past of a housing development at Sneaton Castle by another developer.

Re-modelling Whitby Hospital in its current location also provides an opportunity to generate more money for the development with the inclusion of the extra-care scheme in conjunction with the county council.

If the council backed out of that idea the scheme may be forced to include housing for general sale in order to enable the new hospital to go ahead.

Ms Ferguson added: “If the county council said tomorrow you can’t do this we have identified it could be used for commercial housing development.

“This isn’t our preferred method but we still have the opportunity to do the hospital.

“There is a need for housing for people with complex health needs and we could retain land for that and the hospital.

“That is the most exciting proposition and this moves us into an area where we talk about a health campus”.