*Disclaimer: The photograph in this article was created prior to the Coronavirus outbreak*
Local MP Luke Hall brought the Minister for Health, Ed Argar to a virtual meeting to push for the £13.3 million required to redevelop Thornbury Health Centre.
The proposal, submitted to the Department of Health in December, would see a redeveloped Thornbury Hospital site, providing greater primary care and outpatient services, enhanced mental health support, Integrated facility housing Thornbury GP practices, social care and NHS beds and a proactive ‘frailty hub’ which would focus on the elderly community receiving care in their own homes.
This would mean that residents in Thornbury, Yate and the surrounding towns and villages can access the care they need, closer to home and without having to travel outside the area and helping to relieve pressure on Southmead Hospital.
The meeting brought together Luke Hall, The Minister of State for Health, Ed Argar and key decision makers from South Gloucestershire Council, North Bristol NHS Trust, Bristol North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Sirona Care and Health, NHSEI and the Government.
It comes after Luke Hall personally asked the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock to intervene in Thornbury Hospital, and he pledged national support to help deliver the new health centre and asked NHSEI to work on the project alongside local health groups.
If the bid is successful then the Thornbury Hospital redevelopment project will progress to Stage 2, the Master planning and Outline Business Case, followed by Stage 3, the Full Business Case completion. This will mean that the health centre is on track to be delivered by 2024, three years from now.
Work is also continuing with South Gloucestershire Council and the North Bristol NHS Trust to agree the sale price of the land and Luke Hall is pushing for the price to be agreed as soon as possible.
In a comment Luke Hall said;
“Thornbury has been waiting for this new Health Centre. It is vital that we get the new Health Centre built as soon as possible, so that our community can receive medical care close to home and without having to travel to Bristol.
Redeveloping Thornbury Health Centre is a key part of our Positive Plan for Health. It is vital we get this built to serve our growing community.”
Cllr Toby Savage, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, said:
“I am pleased by the positive discussion around the future of primary healthcare provision in Thornbury and am grateful to Luke for inviting the Minister to offer an insight on our vision for the health centre and hospital sites.
“It remains vital that we as a Conservative-run Council continue to take a creative approach to solving this longstanding issue and are committed to working with the NHS to achieve our goal. This is in stark contrast to opposition politicians whose past performance of shouting from the side lines has yielded no success but has instead resulted in a 30-year legacy of failing to improve health services in Thornbury.”
David Jarrett, Area Director for Bristol and South Glos at BNSSG Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
"We are grateful to have had a supportive and productive conversation about Thornbury Health Centre with Luke Hall and the Minister today.
As per our long-standing ambition, we have submitted a revised bid for redevelopment of the site into an integrated primary and community care centre. This will offer joined-up care and a range of new health services for people in the area.
We await the outcome of the Department of Health and Social Care review, and look forward to progressing plans for the site with our partners and the local community."