Friday, 20 April 2018

Confidence growing over new hospital

THE redevelopment of Townlands Hospital is deliverable and affordable, according to the man in charge.

THE redevelopment of Townlands Hospital is deliverable and affordable, according to the man in charge.

Harold Caldwell, interim area manager for NHS Property Services, told the Townlands Steering Group that commercial and technical issues should be sorted by the end of January and final papers were likely to be submitted for approval in March.

James Wakeham, regional manager of NHS Property Services, also pledged his commitment to the project during last week’s meeting, which aimed to improve engagement and communication between the two groups.

Mr Wakeham said: “NHS Property Services is aware of the importance of this scheme for the local community and there is currently a high level of activity as part of our governance and approval process.”

Building work will not start until the spring at the earliest, meaning the £8.7 million project has now slipped back by more than three years.

Ian Reissmann, chairman of the steering group, said he was confident that the development would go ahead.

He said: “We have listened to what NHS Property Services are saying about this project and believe them when they say their plans are achieveable. We are encouraged at the positive way they are engaging with us and the community in discussing the project status.”

Henley MP John Howell, who spoke to Mr Wakeham and Mr Caldwell before the meeting said he shared their confidence. “I have continued to keep the pressure up on NHS Property Services and look forward to completion of the project in the new year,” he said.

The steering group’s next meeting with NHS Property Services will take place on January 15.

The new hospital, which was originally expected to be completed in 2011, will have 18 beds, a 64-bed care home and include the Sue Ryder hospice, which is due to move from Nettlebed in 2015.

* What do you think? Write to: Letters, Henley Standard, Caxton House, 1 Station Road, Henley, RG9 1AD or email letters@henleystandard.co.uk

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