Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Hospital delayed again

THE new Townlands Hospital will now not be completed before January.

THE new Townlands Hospital will now not be completed before January.

The £16million “health campus” was due to be handed over to NHS Property Services earlier this month and officially opened on December 7.

But that date has now been put back as developer Amber Infrastructure has yet to complete internal work at the hospital.

The latest delay comes after a series of controversies over the new hospital, which is already four years behind the original schedule. Town councillor Ian Reissmann, who chairs the Townlands Steering Group, told a town council meeting that he had been told not to expect the hospital to be finished before January.

A spokesman for NHS Property Services said: “Work on the construction of the new Townlands Hospital is progressing and formal notification of the revised schedule for completion is expected shortly.

“Measures are currently being undertaken to assist the prompt completion of Henley’s new health campus. When we receive formal notification of a revised schedule, we will work with colleagues at other NHS organisations to update local partners on the latest position.”

The current hospital’s Peppard ward was closed at the beginning of this month as part of a planned transitional plan, with patients moved to beds at Wallingford Community Hospital or their own homes.

Other services at the hospital will remain available, including the minor injuries unit, out of hours services and outpatients clinics.

The new hospital will have a rapid access care unit designed to encourage more patients to be cared for at home instead of the 18 beds originally planned.

At least eight beds will be hired from the neighbouring care home, which is due to be completed next summer, along with up to six more on demand.

Meanwhile, the second floor of the new hospital is still empty after Sue Ryder pulled out of a deal to relocate its hospice from Nettlebed. The Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group wants Henley’s two GP surgeries to move in.

• The make-up of the Townlands Steering Group has changed. Former Henley mayor Barry Wood has stepped down. Joining the group are Ken Artlett, of Elizabeth Road, who is also a former mayor, and Janet Waters, who chairs the patient participation group at the Bell Surgery.

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