NHS North West London commissioned Sylvie Pierce in July 2012 to explore options for this important site. She reported at the end of August, but her report was not released to the public until 5th November 2012 – and then only with all financial factors and commercial submissions omitted.
By that date no decisions had been reached on the future of the site and NHS North West London pointed to a Hillingdon Clinical Commissioning Group report expected in January 2013, suggesting that this issue rests primarily with that CCG – despite knowing that on 1st April 2013 the site will pass to a national NHS body, with minimal local input, so it is highly desirable that the future of the Northwood & Pinner Hospital site is settled by that date.
The most significant points from the Executive Summary in Sylvie Pierce’s report are:
1. Her brief was to find a solution that would meet the objectives of all the stakeholders (NHS Hillingdon, local NHS service providers, local people and commercial partners developing the site)
2. Essentially the service proposal envisaged a Health & Wellbeing Centre, providing more than GP services, but encouraging better life style choices by offering dietary advice, housing support, access to social welfare, exercise and group support for long-term conditions, along with day clinics and other NHS and social care services.
3. The next step was to discuss this … with all those who would need to contribute to the scheme particularly the broader NHS family; and to test the commercial viability …
4. The GPs from the Health Centre (Northwood Health Centre, adjacent site, to rear of hospital) … expressed interest in moving to the hospital site … this would release the Health Centre site for further housing development.
5. Meetings and ‘phone calls were held with CNWL (providing local community health services / mental health services), the 3rd sector, Hillingdon Hospital Trust (Positive support was received).
6. The proposal was then soft-market tested with 6 organisations … they were asked to respond to provision of a new 12,000 ft2 Health & Wellbeing Centre, possibly a new renal dialysis unit, and their suggestions for a supporting development, which would generate a receipt and meet planning constraints of the site.
7. Five of the six organisations responded; the majority appointed architects and carried out a full site capacity study.
8. There is considerable interest … from housing associations and others.
9. Site values for the (hospital) site alone are in the region of £1.5m – £2.5m … possibly around £3m and the Health Centre site around £0.5m.
10. A new 12,000 ft2 Health and Wellbeing Centre will cost in the region of £2.5m to build.
11. The GPs … would be interested in raising a mortgage and paying for their share of a new building.
12. At least one of the offers has suggested the possibility of a Joint Venture with the GPs.
13. Soft market testing has generated proposals for additional health facilities or mixed tenure housing.
14. Another option … would be to leave the Health Centre as it is and develop a complementary building on the front of the site.
15. Another option would be to expand the building on the current Health Centre site. No capacity study has been done on this … but there is potential for a two-storey building, which would be a viable solution.
Joan Davis, Chairman of Community Voice
Any comments on the above should be addressed to NRA Chairman, Tony Ellis firstname.lastname@example.org