Health chief outlines plan for new £20m Buxton hospital

The former Buxton Water site
The former Buxton Water site

A £20m hospital is on the cards for Buxton and health bosses have outlined the services which will be provided at the new state-of-the-art facility.

The old Buxton Water bottling site on Station Road has now been sold for £1.8m to build a new hospital after a deal has been agreed with Nestle Waters UK.

Two thirds of the site will, if plans are approved by High Peak Borough Council, become a new hospital in the next four years.

William Jones, chief operating officer for Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, the lead organisation for the project, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have secured this groundbreaking deal.

“We know Buxton Hospital, Cavendish Hospital and other NHS buildings in the town are dated and situated on opposing edges of the town, so this deal means we can develop a fantastic centrally-located facility to house a range of services all under one roof with the local GPs and other NHS organisations.”

The site has stood vacant since 2012 and Nestlé wanted to turn the site into a retail and hotel accommodation however the deal with supermarket giant Tesco fell through and in early 2016 talks resumed about building a new hospital.

The new site will accommodate services currently provided by the town’s two existing hospitals including the x-ray unit, minor injuries unit, the eight elderly rehabilitation beds from Fenton Ward currently at the Cavendish Hospital and the community mental health team. It will also incorporate Stewart Medical Centre, Elmwood Medical Practice and Buxton Medical Practice.

Mr Jones said: “The Dementia Rapid Response Team will also be based out of the new integrated site. Two teams, one covering the Derbyshire Dales and another for the High Peak, will both be well established by then, but we will be delighted to host the High Peak team.”

Mr Jones has also given his reassurances to both staff and patients about the development and fears over possible cuts.

He said: “All people employed across the various sites will transfer across, and as soon as the accommodation for each facility is complete they can move in.

“This integrated service will improve efficiency and quality of care and as far as I am aware, apart from the consultation which has already finished for wards at the Cavendish Hospital, there are no proposals for any other cuts to services.”

Mr Jones said the new hospital was expected to cost between £15m and £20m, and that the old medical sites would eventually be put up for sale. However he insisted the new health hub was not dependent on these sales going through.

He said: “The NHS has access to capital and can apply to the Department of Health for extraordinary capital grants.

“I am pleased to confirm we have £100,000 from the One Public Estate initiative which we will use to further develop our business case.”

A planning application is due to be submitted to High Peak Borough Council within the next six months, and Mr Jones said a traffic assessment report had already been carried out to determine the viability of the site.

He added: “The highways authority says the road infrastructure is prepared for the development, and this town centre development will have good parking facilities for the people of Buxton and the wider High Peak who will be using the new hospital.”