Biggleswade to benefit from major new health hub at hospital site
PUBLISHED: 17:52 21 December 2017 | UPDATED: 17:52 21 December 2017
A major new health hub is being planned for the former Biggleswade Hospital site.
The Integrated Health and Care Hub in Biggleswade which is being set up by the NHS in partnership with Central Beds Council would include extended GP services over seven days, minor injury and minor illness services, and clinics to support patients with long-term conditions.
The exact range of services is still in discussion but could also include face-to-face out-of-hours consultations, a community pharmacy, rehabilitation and re-ablement facilities, outreach services from local acute hospitals and specialist services such as outpatient appointments and other specialist consultations.
It would also offer care packages for people who are vulnerable or have complex care needs.
The aim of the hub is to offer more flexible and community-based forms of care rather than it being solely centred on hospitals and medical centres, and is part of the overall transformation of the NHS currently under way.
Similar hubs would be set up across Bedfordshire, including Luton, and in Milton Keynes.
Central Beds councillor Brian Spurr, executive member for health, said: “The future health care hub in Biggleswade is a great demonstration of how integrated working will provide better health outcomes for people.
It will allow people to access care closer to their home and in a more integrated way through the range of services it will be able to offer. It will truly be a hub where people can access preventative services, get advice, access treatment and get specialist services without having to travel to different places.”
The council says the hub is needed because the current out-of-hospital provision does not meet the needs of an ageing and growing population.
It would cover the Ivel Valley locality which includes the towns of Biggleswade, Sandy and Shefford. This has a current population 91,000.
Biggleswade Hospital was originally built in 1890 as an isolation facility and converted to a long stay hospital in 1948. The central building is located on a site of 1.65 hectares and there are also a number of pre-fabricated buildings located there. Some of the buildings are no longer fit for purpose and others are now occupied by other services including mental health care provided by the East London Foundation Trust.