The Department of Health and Social Care has provided approval in principle for the ownership of Newmarket’s community hospital to be transferred to the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) from NHS Property Services.
A newly developed policy enables NHS trusts to apply for ownership of buildings on their estate, which are currently owned by NHS Property Services and Community Health Partnerships, through a business case process.
The WSFT had its transfer of ownership bid supported by the NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group and Matt Hancock, West Suffolk MP and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
The business case has been approved by the department and transfer will be finalised on the completion of a series of conditions applied to the business case.
West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust chief executive, Stephen Dunn CBE, said: “Matt Hancock has been instrumental in establishing central government policy around the ability to enable local NHS services to apply for ownership of buildings. We are grateful to him for his support and for his dedication to his local hospital. He has fought hard for this and we, in partnership with our wider health and social care teams and voluntary and community sector, are working closely together to develop the health and wellbeing of our communities in Newmarket town and its surrounding villages.”
The £1.3m project, led by NHS Property Services to accommodate the relocation of Newmarket’s Oakfield Surgery to Newmarket Community Hospital, is already underway and will enable primary care to complement services already at the local hospital.
Mr Dunn continued: “We are already doing so much on site to integrate primary, community, outpatient, social work and mental health teams; I look forward to working in partnership with our staff, other tenants, alliance members, patients and our communities to develop and expand services in the future.”
And Mr Hancock added: “This is fantastic news for healthcare in Newmarket. As the local MP, I’m delighted that the Newmarket Community Hospital will be in the very capable hands of the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust. This, along with the relocation of the Oakfield Surgery to the Newmarket Community Hospital, as well as the plan to develop a health hub there, will be great for the community in Newmarket. With the transfer of ownership, services can be more targeted to address the needs of the local population, supporting patients and their families in their community.”