THE construction of the new Townlands Hospital in Henley can finally begin.
NHS Property Services revealed today that all the major partners involved in the £10.4 million redevelopment were signed up and 'ready to go'.
Construction is expected to take around two years.
James Wakeham, south regional director for NHS Property Services, said: “It is extremely pleasing to deliver this milestone achievement to the people and patients of Henley-on-Thames and to signal that the redevelopment of the site can now get under way.
“I would like to thank members of the Townlands Steering Group, colleagues at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS England and local councils for their continued support and commitment to the project.
“We will continue to work closely with all parties to ensure that the hospital is delivered on time, to specification, and is able to deliver first-class healthcare for the local community.”
NHS Property Services owns the 2.36 hectare Townlands site.
The new hospital will provide services including in-patient, out-patient and ambulatory care, X-rays, podiatry, physiotherapy and dentistry.
There will also be a specialist 12-bed hospice, a 64-bed care home, 44 assisted-living residences and 12 “key worker” residences.
Amber Solutions for Care will design, build, fund and maintain the new facility.
Councillor Ian Reissmann, chairman of the steering group, said: “This is the best possible news for the people of Henley, who have been unwavering in their support for this redevelopment.
“We would like to thank and congratulate everyone involved for their hard work and commitment in delivering this great result. We are now looking forward to working with the developer and seeing the build get under way.”
Gareth Kenworthy, chief finance officer at the commissioning Ggroup, said: “We thank and congratulate all the partners involved in reaching this important milestone.
“Once the new site opens it will provide a better range of services for local people and patients to help further improve their health and wellbeing.”
The deal follows the meetings held between the Henley MP, John Howell, and the Minister, Dan Poulter MP, and Peter Coates of the NHS.
John Howell MP said:
“I am delighted that the deal has finally been done which will allow Townlands Hospital to go forward. There are those in the town who have argued that the deal should simply have gone ahead at all costs. However, NHS Property Services has had to look after considerable sums of public money in this project and it is quite right that they have done so. I congratulate all those who have worked so hard to bring this development about. I am pleased that all our efforts have paid off. I said I would put pressure on NHS Property Services to conclude the deal. I have done so and the project will now go ahead.”
A full report will be published in this week’s Henley Standard.