Agenda item

Update on Heatherwood

To receive an update on the above titled item by Lisa Glynn, Director of Operations, Frimley Health.


Janet King, Director of HR and Corporate Services (Heatherwood Hospital Trust) gave a presentation on the above titled item. Members of the Board were informed that major transformational change was taking place and that the hospital had a great reputation but that the facilities had needed improvement. The Board were informed that Frimley Health Trust had taken over the management of the hospital facilities in 2014 with a promise to build a new hospital at the Heatherwood site. It was highlighted that there had been positive opinions from the local community and staff despite many services being taken off site, such as maternity and minor injuries. It was important that with the development of a new hospital, the services were shaped accordingly whilst maintaining the best modern healthcare for its patients and community.


The new facilities would include a dedicated elective care centre with state of the art facilities for multiple specialities and would provide the best patient experience. Members were informed that in order to deliver upon the Frimley Health vision, the existing hospital site would be sold for housing development and that planning permission to build within the green belt woodland would be applied for. The plan had some key advantages;


·         Enabling ways to raise capital to re-invest into the new £95.8m facility

·         Continued operational running of the current site until the new site was ready

·         Retaining of staff throughout Heatherwood Hospital sites

·         Re-development of the site would help the local authority meet its housing provision requirement

·         Land alongside the hospital offering could be opened to public use (for example SANG development).


Members were informed that there was significant advantage in favour of the plans in respect of intrusion onto the green belt. There had been overwhelming support from the local community and local planners. Public engagement events had been held, and work with local planners, health and care partners and key stakeholders was vital. Working with these partners helped to address concerns relating to lowering height and scale, car parking, landscaping, fencing and security. The Board were informed that the new Hospital was scheduled to open in 2021 and would comprise; 6 operating theatres ( all laminar flow); 40 beds ( half en suite) plus eight private patient beds; 22 day case spaces & endoscopy; outpatient and diagnostic procedures/treatment rooms; surgeries running into the evening and space for primary care hub and a GP clinic. It was expected that within 10 years, the number of patients would double from 85,000 to 168,000. There was a focus on providing services where related procedures could be carried out together with extended hours and that there be a greater amalgamation between primary and community services. These linked services would be known as “one stop shops” and would enhance the current offer of services to be delivered in more efficient ways.


Members were told that great care and detail had been taken in designing the exterior and interiors of the new building and that this work had been co-designed with Friends of Heatherwood and other parties. The Board were informed that there were a number of details yet to be resolved following the planning decision, which included agreeing and approving a full business case to ensure sustainability of services; liaising with health and care partners to ensure that the plans fit within the ICS priorities and to seek approval from NHS improvement. There has been significant investment in the Greenwood offices ( formerly mental health unit) in bringing new life to the hospital. There had been up to 300 staff employed in IT, HR, Finance plus a number of meeting spaces. Members were informed that with the recent opening of the Greenwood offices, there was also the good news with the commencement of building work on site. It was proposed that the start of main construction work on site would begin in February 2019 and that by the end of 2021, commissioning would be complete with the ambition to open the hospital for use.


Tessa Lindfield, Director of Public Health; outlined that there had been a recent public health report which reported the advantages of green space and the positive results this had on recovery. It was queried whether the inclusion of green place had been taken into account with the plans and it was confirmed that this had been taken into account with various floors offering views and green space, and that this was already phased in on the acute site. Dr Adrian Hayter praised the trust for the efficient timeline of works and for the wider offer that would be available to local resident for specialised and non-specialised services. It was outlined that the GP space was an integral part of the hospital and that this service had been well received by patients; it was requested that these spaces be co-designed with the GP network to ensure collaborative aspirations were met and that there was enough practical space for clinics to be carried out. Mark Sanders, (Healthwatch WAM) highlighted that the pending expansion of Heathrow could also increase the population by 40,000 and that community engagement and feedback was incredibly useful in shaping future places of localised services. It was noted that there should be a greater effort to inform the public of the replaced services and current health provisions that were in place.