NHS support for Worthing Health Hub as plans go live
Released: Monday, 15 June 2020
A multimillion pound project to radically improve health services for tens of thousands of Worthing residents has taken a big step forward.
After months of detailed work behind the scenes, Worthing Borough Council has formally submitted a planning application to create a health hub on the civic centre car park in Stoke Abbott Road.
If approved, the new contemporary building - which will be known as the Worthing Integrated Care Centre (WICC) - will bring together GP surgeries, mental health provision, community care and a pharmacy onto one central site.
In addition to making it easier for patients to access care, it will also provide a significant upgrade to the facilities used by scores of NHS staff while making best use of public land.
Cllr Val Turner, Worthing Borough Council's Executive Member for Health & Wellbeing, said:
“I'm pleased to see the progress on this crucial project which could transform the way tens of thousands of residents receive healthcare.
“Bringing together services onto one site like this could not only make it easier for those accessing care but also give our fantastic NHS workers state-of-the-art facilities to provide better integrated care.
“It could also be great news for the taxpayer, making better use out of an under-utilised town centre site while freeing up other publicly-owned land for other uses. It's now over to the planning committee to make a decision on the application.”
The WICC would combine General Practitioner surgeries, mental health specialists, outpatients, health visitors, a chemist and services for families and children.
It is to be located on the car park at the back of Worthing Town Hall and would see the existing Central Clinic site demolished to make way for the new facility.
A new multi-storey car park for 181 cars and 68 cycle spaces is also to be built next to the new centre.
The whole project is to be funded by Worthing Borough Council through borrowing which will be recouped through rent and income.
Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, which provides medical, nursing and therapeutic care, and the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental health and learning disability care, intend to take space in the new centre alongside the leading GP practice, Worthing Medical Group.
Sue Parton, managing director of Worthing Medical Group, said:
”We are excited at the prospect of co-locating with partners in local service delivery ... as we believe this is vital for the wellbeing of Worthing residents in the future ... This exciting project not only delivers a new landmark public building for Worthing but will make a substantial contribution to improving health service delivery and health outcomes in the town.”
Sally Flint, Deputy Chief Executive of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“This scheme will enable mental health services for people of all ages to be brought together into an integrated community services health hub and is a very exciting partnership opportunity which we are proud to be part of.”
Mike Jennings, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“Much of the estate from which we provide services in the town is reaching the end of its economic life and we welcome the opportunity to create a new hub for community healthcare provision within the town.”
Glynn Dodd, Director of Corporate Programmes at Sussex Health and Care Partnership, said:
“The estate will enable services to be brought together at this health hub. There are also adjacent council services as well as the town hall. Thus, the site is a practical location for services to support the local community. We are proud to be part of this opportunity.”
The application is now open for public consultation ahead of a decision being taken by the Council's Planning Committee later this year.
To view or comment on the proposal search for AWDM/0805/20 at https://planning.adur-worthing.gov.uk/online-applications/
Images: Artist's impressions of the plans for the WICC have been submitted and backed by NHS bodies (looking east and west along Stoke Abbott Road)
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