Locals asked for views on new Edenbridge hospital

Locals asked for views on new Edenbridge hospital
HEALTH PLAN: Edenbridge War Memorial Hospital could be replaced by new housing

EDENBRIDGE residents have a chance this week to give their views on the proposed site of the town’s new, combined hospital and GP surgery.

The NHS’s programme board has chosen a location next to the Eden Centre on Four Elms Road.

The decision was reached after a thorough assessment process was undertaken by the three partners involved – West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group [CCG], Kent Community Health Foundation Trust [KCHFT] and Edenbridge Medical Practice.

All the sites considered were on Green Belt land and were included in the draft Local Plan of Sevenoaks District Council.

A plot which is owned by Kent County Council was identified as the one which best met the various criteria.

The NHS is now seeking the views of local people, including ideas about what the centre might look like, ahead of submitting a planning application and purchasing the land.

A meeting chaired by Tonbridge & Malling MP Tom Tugendhat will be held at Edenbridge WI Hall on Station Road on Friday [November 30], from 6.30-8.30pm.

To book a place, you are invited to email nelcsu.engagement@nhs.net or call 03000 424 348.

“Edenbridge needs to retain and improve its health facilities so it can cater for the needs of a growing population,” said Mr Tugendhat. “This plan, with the full support of our excellent GP practice, will enable us to attract the best doctors to our town and deliver even better care for everyone. That’s why I’m excited about the opportunities this brings.”

Ian Ayres, Managing Director of the four clinical commissioning groups in Medway, north and west Kent, said: “This is an important step forward in securing a new combined hospital and GP surgery for Edenbridge, which people overwhelmingly supported in our public consultation last year.

“We’ve made really good progress so far, now we need to make sure that we develop a facility that enables health and care staff in Edenbridge to deliver the best possible care for local people’s needs.

“With this in mind, we have appointed a design team and are inviting residents of Edenbridge to come and see what this new ‘health and well-being centre’ could potentially look like, and let us know their views.”

Dr Simon Morrison of Edenbridge Medical Practice added: “There is clear evidence that having a new combined hospital and GP surgery will enable us to recruit the best GPs, nurses and other staff, and to work with the hospital teams and others, to deliver improved, holistic healthcare for the people of Edenbridge and the surrounding villages.

“We are excited that this project has taken a real step forward, and look forward to hearing what people have to stay about the early designs.”

According to the Sevenoaks draft Local Plan new homes could be built on the site of the existing Edenbridge and District War Memorial Hospital in Mill Hill.

That facility will be closed, and Edenbridge Hospital League of Friends is calling for  the proceeds from the sale of the site to be put towards the new venture since the original site was financed by the local community.

It also proposes 515 new homes on land south and east of Four Elms Road which will require additional infrastructure of a new secondary school as well as the hospital and surgery.

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