Services 'for all ages' in the running for hospital

PUBLISHED: 09:00 01 February 2015

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Health bosses are considering a list of 25 services which could use the revamped Budleigh Salterton Hospital.

Project development manager Rob Jones said this week that a wide variety of organisations were interested in using the hospital, which is due to become a community health and wellbeing hub.

Mr Jones also said that it has not yet been decided if the hospital will have to close for a period during the construction work.

He said: “We currently have a 25-strong list of services showing an interest in working at the hub.

“For the next couple of months, we will be working out the local need, what people really want, and then we can start planning those in.

“I’m not able to list them as we’re still selecting, but I can confirm there will be quite a variety for people of all ages. Services for young people, people of working age and for older people.”

Mr Jones said the interested services were a mix of NHS, charities, public sector, local authority and commercial organisations.

Most of the building work to create the new hub will be to the hospital’s interior, which means there is a chance the services currently at the hospital will have to pause for work to be carried out.

Although the hospital’s beds have gone, it still sees around 120 patients a week for day services, which will continue when the hub opens.

Mr Jones said that the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust will appoint contractors to carry out the work in February, and they will arrive on site in March, at which point it should become clear if a closure is needed.

He said: “Until the construction company advises us, we don’t know how we’re going to handle certain parts of the building.

“We will give everyone plenty of notice [of a closure].”

Work on the new hub, which will be gaining features including a gym and an enlarged reception area with an internet cafe, is due to be completed by September.

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