Changes at Newmarket Hospital means more targeted services, health secretary says
Newmarket MP and health secretary Matt Hancock has welcomed a decision in principle to transfer the ownership of the town’s community hospital to the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT).
The trust also runs the recently ‘outstanding’ rated West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.
“This is fantastic news for healthcare in Newmarket. As the local MP, I’m delighted that the Newmarket Community Hospital will be in the very capable hands of the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust,” said Mr Hancock.
“This, along with the relocation of the Oakfield Surgery to the Newmarket Community Hospital, as well as the plan to develop a health hub there, will be great for the community in Newmarket.
“With the transfer of ownership, services can be more targeted to address the needs of the local population, supporting patients and their families in their community.”
The Exning Road hospital is currently in the hands of NHS Property Services but a newly developed policy has meant NHS trusts can apply for ownership of buildings on their estate, which are currently owned by NHS Property Services and community health partnerships, through a business case process.
Dr Stephen Dunn, West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust chief executive, said: “Matt Hancock has been instrumental in establishing central government policy around the ability to enable local NHS services to apply for ownership of buildings.
“We are grateful to him for his support and for his dedication to his local hospital. He has fought hard for this and we, in partnership with our wider health and social care teams and voluntary and community sector, are working closely together to develop the health and wellbeing of our communities in Newmarket town and its surrounding villages.”
A £1.3 million project led by NHS Property Services, torelocate Newmarket’s Oakfield Surgery to the hospital site is already underway and will enable primary care to complement services already at the local hospital. Dr Dunn added: “We are already doing so much on site to integrate primary, community, outpatient, social work and mental health teams.
“I look forward to working in partnership with our staff, other tenants, alliance members, patients and our communities to develop and expand services in the future.”
More by this authorAlison Hayes