Conservative-led plans for brand new healthcare facilities in Thornbury are set to take a major step forward with the announcement that South Gloucestershire Council will purchase the Thornbury Hospital site.
In a landmark agreement with North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) which will be considered by Cabinet next month, South Gloucestershire Council would secure the land to further advance long-term proposals to deliver improved GP primary care, outpatient and social care services for the town.
This follows a £13.3million bid to Government supported by Thornbury and Yate MP Luke Hall, in December for the redevelopment of the site. This would also provide a new home for the town’s local GP practices, enhanced mental health support, social care and NHS beds and a proactive ‘frailty hub’ which would focus on the elderly community receiving care in their own homes.
The original proposal to purchase the site to progress negotiations for a new facility was first put forward by Conservative Cllr Matthew Riddle, who represents the Severn Vale Ward neighbouring the town, with the MP having secured the support of Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock for the project.
This latest breakthrough also follows a roundtable meeting earlier this month, arranged by Luke Hall MP, to bring the Council, NBT and other key healthcare partners together to raise the profile of the bid with Health Minister Ed Agar MP.
Improving healthcare has been one of the main focuses of the Council’s Conservative leadership and the MP in recent years, with the Council taking charge by assuming the role of lead commissioner for the Thornbury Hospital redevelopment. Separately, £100,000 was secured from NHS England for a feasibility study that assesses the need for rebuilding the adjacent GP-led health centre facilities.
Thornbury and Yate MP Luke Hall said:
“Redeveloping Thornbury health centre is a key part of our Positive Plan for Health. It will mean our community can access the care they need closer to home, including more outpatient and GP services, mental health support and extra care housing.
The whole community will be pleased that this sale has now been agreed.”
Welcoming the announcement, Cllr Toby Savage, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, said:
“My mum used Thornbury Health Centre when pregnant with me and the facilities have barely changed since then. This new breakthrough is the furthest local Conservatives have come to make our vision a reality, with Thornbury having the modern healthcare facilities it so desperately needs. I am pleased we have been able to take this significant step towards our goal and towards ending the 30-year legacy of failure on this vital issue.”
Cllr Matthew Riddle added:
“Having first proposed the Council considers buying the land from the NHS to redevelop the hospital into a brand new health facility that would support residents in Thornbury and the surrounding villages, I am truly delighted on behalf of the residents I represent that the Council’s Conservative leadership has been able to come through.”