Friday, 20 October 2017

Hospital contracts finally to be agreed

CONTRACTS for the redevelopment of Townlands Hospital in Henley are expected to be agreed on Thursday.

NHS Property Services will hold a board meeting in Cambridge when the £8.7 million “health campus” should be approved.

Developer Amber Solutions for Care and its building contractor Vinci Construction will then be able to move on site.

Town councillor Ian Reissmann, who chairs the Townlands Steering Group, said the signing of the contracts was “very good news” for the project, which has suffered nine separate delays and should have been completed more than three years ago.

He said the building work on the 18-bed hospital and 64-bed care home was expected to take 108 weeks so the new hospital should be open in May 2016.

Councillor Reissmann said the work of his group was not finished.

He said: “There is a period of construction in which we need to make sure services are maintained and the effects of this large development are kept to a minimum.

“We will make sure that the community and the developer are talking to each other, which will be important as there are still a few loose ends to be tied up, such as the arts and other social aspects and landscaping. The final details of the roundabout at Mount View are also incomplete.

“For now we can all feel happy that the promised progress is being made and hopefully we are nearly there.”

The hospital was most recently delayed in November as NHS Property Services needed more time to agree costs with contractors. The company took over the project from NHS Oxfordshire in April after the abolition of primary care trusts.

The hospital was also delayed earlier in 2013 after Aviva stalled on releasing a £7 million loan towards the cost. In 2010 the project’s entire procurement plan had to be scrapped due to the risk of legal challenges.

The development will also include a new Sue Ryder hospice, which will move from Nettlebed, a care home to replace Chilterns End and 44 homes for staff.

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