This week, contractor Seddon Construction Ltd handed over Tewkesbury Community Hospital to Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, which runs the county’s seven community hospitals.
The new hospital facilities will include 20 inpatient beds, x-ray, a minor injuries unit, facilities for outpatients clinic as now, theatre with recovery suite for day case and minor surgical procedures, and an assessment and rehabilitation unit.
Susan Field, director of adult services for the Trust, said: “I am delighted that after some weeks of delay to resolve technical issues with the building, the hospital is ready to open, and I am confident that patients and their relatives and friends will enjoy the many benefits that our modern new facility can offer. I want to thank our staff, GPs and colleagues in the local health community who have worked incredibly hard to make this transition as smooth as possible for patients. We are grateful for the understanding and support of the local community and the League of Friends, and our move next week marks the start of an exciting new era for local health and social care services in Tewkesbury and the surrounding area.”
Julie Ellery, matron for Tewkesbury Community Hospital, said: “Our staff have been fantastic throughout, showing real flexibility in their approach, working as a team to respond to the unexpected delays, and, above all, continuing to care for patients and their families with great skill and dedication.”
The new hospital site has strong green credentials, as Mark Parsons, head of estates for the Trust, explained: “The building is designed to high environmental standards: a combination of solar panels and a combined heat and power system, for example, will help us to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. We also have low wattage lighting installed and a heat recovery system is in place. The design of the new building incorporates very high levels of insulation and thermal mass to minimise energy consumption. Water efficient sensor controlled equipment has also been installed and there is a recycling and food waste collection system in place.”
Plans for a new hospital were first proposed in 2009 by the then primary care trust NHS Gloucestershire, in consultation with local GPs. In the commissioning plans for the new hospital, the reduction in the number of beds to twenty was subject to a thorough review in partnership with local GPs. The review took into account the needs of the population of Tewkesbury and the surrounding area, and a new model of community-based care which focuses on personalised health and social care in the home, or as near to home as possible.
There will be an official opening in due course to celebrate the opening of the new hospital and to acknowledge the contribution made by local people from a range of organisations and community groups.
New telephone numbers for Tewkesbury Community Hospital
Main reception: 0300 421 6100
Tewkesbury Physio Direct (adults): 0300 421 6140
Minor Injuries Unit (MIU): 0300 421 6102
Abbey View Ward: 0300 421 6151
X-ray: 0300 421 6106
Physiotherapy: 0300 421 6133
Health visitors: 0300 421 6166
School nursing: 0300 421 6161