This page contains information in relation to Alan's work on the Emsworth Victoria Cottage Hospital. To get email updates on this issue please click here.
Update 9 January - Alan Mak MP writes to Emsworth Residents after new surgery gets the green light
Dear Emsworth Resident,
I am writing with an important update on my work regarding the Emsworth Victoria Cottage Hospital (EVCH) and delivering a new NHS-funded GP Surgery for Emsworth’s residents.
After campaigning on this issue since first being elected in 2015, I am pleased to say that approval has now been given by NHS England for the EVCH to become the site of the new Emsworth GP Surgery. This is the final green light for the project and the NHS South Eastern Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have informed me that construction will begin at the end of this month, with a new Surgery expected to open around April 2021.
Thank you to Emsworth’s residents for the support you have given me during my Emsworth Surgery Campaign that I have led with community backing. I am grateful to the Emsworth Surgery’s doctors and management team, our local Emsworth councillors, and Emsworth’s many community groups and local residents who have worked with me and the NHS CCG since 2015. This positive news is a big success story for everyone across Emsworth – delivering new, modern local infrastructure for our community that provides better healthcare for local people.
My work has included organising and chairing a wide range of meetings each year to keep up the momentum on this project. In July & August 2018, I stopped the sale of the EVCH site by the NHS to ensure it could be used for a new GP Surgery. I then brought together key NHS and community stakeholders to make one final (and successful) attempt to finalise an action plan that everyone could agree on – this became the blueprint for delivering the new Surgery that will benefit Emsworth and its residents for years to come.
I also met the Health Secretary and Health Ministers in Westminster to successfully lobby for the £4.4M investment from the NHS that will be needed – and I also successfully intervened to extend the deadline for the NHS funds to be used when this was needed to keep the project alive.
If you know other residents – friends, family, neighbours etc – who would like to receive e-mail updates on this issue as it progresses, please ask them to sign-up online by visiting my website at: www.AlanMak.org.uk/EmsworthSurgery
Alan Mak MP
Your Local Member of Parliament
Update 20 December - Emsworth Victoria Cottage Hospital named as preferred site for new surgery following campaign by MP Alan Mak
The Emsworth Victoria Cottage Hospital (EVCH) has been named as the preferred site for the town's new doctors surgery, following the campaign work of Local MP Alan Mak.
Doctors, the local NHS and key Emsworth area stakeholders have agreed that moving into a refurbished building on the disused hospital site in the town centre is the best current solution to meet GPs’ needs.
GPs want to move into a new and bigger surgery to provide a sustainable service in the future and meet the health needs of an expanding local population, as their existing site is cramped and could not cope with an increase in medical services or an expanding patient population.
It comes just six months after the EVCH was placed on the open market for sale, something that was stopped by Alan’s efforts.
That included writing to the NHS, demanding the site be removed from the market, meeting NHS bosses both in Westminster and Havant. He outlined that the key site shouldn’t have been placed for sale until the location of a new surgery was decided.
After winning the argument with the NHS, Alan then organised a meeting for all the local stakeholders in September attended by the NHS Property Services (owners of the building), NHS CCG, Doctors, Havant Borough Council, local community representatives and local councillors where it was decided to try to explore the option of using the EVCH.
However, a key stumbling block remained in place as the deadline for receiving funding was due to expire in October.
Taking the cause to the top of Government, he met with the Health Secretary Matt Hancock and successfully lobbied to get the deadline extended to December, allowing the project to move forward.
Alan Mak MP said: “Just six months ago the Emsworth Victoria Cottage Hospital was being placed on the open market for sale. I stopped the sale - and now the site is the preferred location for a modern doctors surgery that will serve the entire town. This excellent outcome is testament to all of the effort from the community in supporting the goals of my campaign. While we have achieved much in the last few months, there is still a way to go and I’ll be continuing my work to ensure that the NHS CCG, Doctors and Council work together to deliver this project for the benefit of Emsworth.”
Over the last few months, the original nine potential options for a new location were whittled down to three, following a period of public engagement with patients and residents in Emsworth and Westbourne, where the surgery has a small branch.
Refurbishing Emsworth Victoria Cottage Hospital (EVCH) is seen as having clear advantages for both GPs and the NHS.
These include having enough space for expansion, being within the financial budget available for capital spend as well as being the option most favoured by stakeholders and the local community.
There are still a number of risks that need to be managed and mitigated before the preferred option becomes a firm plan, amongst which are agreements over leasing arrangements with the current property owners as well as other financial and legal issues. These will be agreed in principle by the NHS South Eastern Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group ahead of the formal business case submission to NHS England, who hold the capital funding.
Following feedback from the local community, the business case will include the option of keeping the Westbourne Branch Surgery open to enable the GP practice to keep its presence in north Emsworth and prepare for a new housing development at Southleigh.
Of the other ‘short list’ options, demolishing EVCH and building a new surgery on the site or moving to a new purpose-built building at Redlands Grange are not considered viable with the current time constraints and budget available.
A business case for the preferred option has to be submitted to NHS England by December 21 to meet the deadline to apply for the £4.4m funding currently allocated to the scheme under the national Estates and Technology Transformation Fund (ETTF). ETTF money cannot be spent on land purchase and usually only funds two-thirds of the total project costs.
The next steps are that a business case will be submitted to NHS England on December 21 to give NHS England enough time to review the papers before its ETTF Review Panel meets in February 2019. The outline business case will need to be agreed by the CCG in January, 2019, as any additional costs would need to be funded by the organisation.
Update 7 September - MP meeting delivers progress on Emsworth Victoria Cottage Hospital future
Progress has been made on the future of the Emsworth Victoria Cottage Hospital after a “positive” meeting organised by local MP Alan Mak yesterday (Thursday 6 September).
The meeting at the Emsworth Baptist Church was attended by all of the key stakeholders including the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, who decide if the site can be used for medical and health purposes; NHS Property Services, the owners of the building; the Emsworth Medical Practice; Havant Borough Council, local councillors and community group representatives from Emsworth.
It was decided that the doctors and the CCG will work together to come up with a fresh proposal to use the Victoria Cottage Hospital site and continue to engage with NHS England on funding. Emsworth United, which represents the towns community groups, have pledge support to the process.
It comes after the MP secured a key reversal by the NHS CCG, which meant that the site was taken off the market for sale while talks take place. Mr Mak had argued that until the future of the Emsworth Medical Practice is confirmed no sale should go ahead.
While the site at Redlands Grange, north of the town centre, is still under consideration by the doctors, they have confirmed that they are now willing to reconsider the EVCH as the location for their new surgery building. At the meeting the CCG reiterated that they would not list the EVCH as surplus to requirements while negotiations over a potential move there are ongoing.
Mr Mak said he was pleased with the progress that was made at the meeting and plans to host another in the coming months to maintain momentum and check progress.
He said: “After much work by all of those involved, I am pleased that we have come to an agreement that there is potential for the Emsworth Victoria Cottage Hospital to be the site of the town’s new surgery. I organised this meeting to open a dialogue between the doctors, community and NHS, and agree a road map for the future, so I was delighted we achieved those aims. It was a very positive meeting, and we have taken a real positive step forward.
“However, there is still a long way to go in this process, and it will only be successful if all of the stakeholders can keep aiming towards a common goal. I will continue to work hard to facilitate discussions and deliver this aim.”
Update 22 August - Alan secures NHS reversal on Emsworth Victoria Cottage Hospital
Alan has secured a reversal from the South Eastern Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to halt the sale of the Emsworth Victoria Cottage Hospital (EVCH) site.
The MP had questioned the process that led the CCG to conclude that the EVCH site was surplus to medical requirements in a letter to Chief Executive Maggie MacIsaac. He argued that until the future of the Emsworth Medical Practice is confirmed no sale should go ahead.
Currently, doctors are in negotiations over a site at Redlands Grange, north of the town centre. However, they have confirmed that they are now willing to reconsider the EVCH as the location for their new surgery building.
In a letter sent to Mr Mak today (22 August, see below), the CCG confirmed that they would agree to his request and have written to the owners of the building, NHS Property Services, reversing their decision to declare the site as surplus for medical requirements. This legal step ensures that for the time being, the Victoria Cottage Hospital can only be considered for use as a medical site.
After receiving the news from the CCG, Alan has also immediately written to NHS Property Services (see below) asking that they remove all marketing and sale-related promotional material as soon as possible.
Alan Mak MP said: “Since I found out without notice four weeks ago that the Emsworth Victoria Cottage Hospital site was being listed for sale I have made this issue my number one priority, devoting much time and energy. I am delighted that my efforts have been successful, and the CCG have agreed to my request and have revered their decision to declare the site as surplus for medical use. While this is an important and early success, it is only the first step in the process – and I will look to secure more progress in the coming months.”
Alan will now be hosting a closed roundtable meeting in early September to discuss plans for future use of the site with all of the key stakeholders.
He added: “I hope that my meeting will be a good opportunity to both bring together all the decision-makers, underlining to them the views of the community, and agree on a road-map for the way forward.”
Attached to the bottom of this page is also Alan's statement to the public meeting taking place in Emsworth on 22 August.
Update 11 August 2018 - Alan calls on NHS to take the Emsworth Victoria Cottage Hospital site off the market
Alan does NOT support the sale of the Emsworth Victoria Cottage Hospital (EVCH) site without the community first having the opportunity to acquire it or the doctors at the Emsworth Medical Practice having another opportunity to re-locate there. Alan is working hard on this important local issue.
Following a productive meeting with Emsworth community representatives, Alan has written to the South Eastern Hampshire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) calling on them to reverse their decision that the EVCH site is surplus to requirements for medical use. See below (or bottom of the webpage for a PDF copy).
Alan has also written to NHS Property Services (NHSPS) calling on them to take the EVCH site off the market, and remove the “for sale” signs and other marketing materials. See below (bottom of the webpage) for a PDF copy of Alan's letter.
To move things forward, Alan has also spoken again to the Emsworth Medical Practice, and senior officials from the CCG and NHSPS – they have all agreed to explore the possibility of re-locating the current Emsworth Medical Practice to a new building at the EVCH site if a business case and funding structure can be agreed by all parties.
Alan will be hosting a roundtable meeting in September 2018 with the CCG, NHSPS, local councillors and other community representatives to agree a way forward.
Alan will post further updates on this page of his website as they become available.
Update 1 August 2018 - Response from NHS Property Services
NHS Property Services have confirmed that the sales process for the EVCH will be frozen for six months if the community expresses an interest to buy the site through the Asset of Community Value (ACV) process under the Localism Act 2011.
NHS Property Services have also agreed to attend a meeting I will be organising in Emsworth to listen to representatives from Emsworth community organisations and our local councillors. I will now contact all relevant parties to organise the meeting.
See the letter to me from NHS Property Services below
Alan's letter to the NHS Property Services regarding the proposed sale of the EVCH
Alan has called on NHS Property Services to halt their sale of Emsworth's Victoria Cottage Hospital.
He said that he was not given advance notification that the sale process had started, and has responded immediately by writing to the Chief Executive of NHSPS calling for the sale process to be halted to allow community groups to engage with the process.
Alan will be organising a roundtable meeting in Emsworth for NHS officials to meet community representatives, and will keep residents updated via his website. Full letter is below: