Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Hospital ready at last

THE new Townlands Hospital in Henley has finally been completed

THE new Townlands Hospital in Henley has finally been completed.

It was due to be handed over to NHS Property Services today (Friday) before a four-week “decant” from the old building.

The new building is likely to open to patients in mid-March.

The handover comes after a string of delays over the redevelopment, which is more than four years behind the original schedule.

The £16million “health campus”, which has been built by developers Amber Solutions for Care and contractor Vinci Construction, was previously due to be officially opened on December 7 but that date was put back due to a “longer-than-anticipated build time”.

A revised handover date of last week was also missed as internal work to the hospital was finished.

Town councillor Ian Reissmann, chairman of the Townlands Steering Group, said: “We’ve been waiting for the moment that the build is completed and look forward to the services being moved and the new hospital opening.

“The dates have been shifted around for months but the important thing is that the hospital opens.

“The changes in dates are frustrating but we want the hospital open when the build is properly completed and safe for patients. It’s nice to now have that date but there are still issues we are facing.”

Cllr Reissmann said there were still questions surrounding services including the rapid access care unit, up to 14 beds provided at the neighbouring care home and social care packages for patients.

Thde care unit is not expected to open until May.

Cllr Reissmann said: “We would like to see a clear plan for the rapid access care unit and dates for that process.”

NHS Property Services says it is still negotiating with interested parties over a tenant for the empty top floor of the hospital.

The floor was left empty after Sue Ryder pulled out in December 2014.

In July, doctors at the Bell and Hart Surgeries said a move to Townlands could be the “right choice” but they believed NHS Property Services would charge rent of about £250,000 a year.

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