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.”
Photo caption: Alan Mak MP at the meeting with representatives from NHS Property Services, NHS CCG, Emsworth Medical Practice, Havant Borough Council and Emsworth Medical Practice