Last week, I spoke to our local NHS leadership to discuss the exciting final stages of preparation for building our brand new community hospital in the centre of the Forest of Dean, due to open in summer 2023.
Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust is preparing to submit a full planning application for the new hospital in Steam Mills Road, Cinderford.
Drawings and designs for the building have been made public ahead of an NHS Trust board meeting on Thursday to sign off the final business case for the new hospital. If approved, the Trust will then seek planning permission with a view to starting construction early in 2022.
A number of artists impressions, floorplans and site drawings are now available following months of work to develop proposals for the site, which was agreed with Cinderford Town Council back in 2019. Development of the hospital was put on hold through the Covid-19 pandemic.
There will be single rooms with ensuite facilities to minimise the risk of cross-infection and maintain infection control standards, and a purpose-built therapy gym for rehabilitation.
Alongside the inpatient ward, the hospital will include a Minor Injuries unit with separate adult and children waiting areas, x-ray, radiology and ultrasound services, consulting and treatment rooms for outpatient clinics, a children’s clinic area, endoscopy suite and clinic space for dentistry and podiatry.
The hospital is also being designed with BREEAM certification as a target to help reduce energy consumption and support an NHS ambition of net zero carbon emissions.
Access to the site will be via a new junction where the current skatepark entrance is located, with parking to the front of the site and the building positioned further back. As part of the hospital project, the Trust will provide a new skatepark in Miner’s Field and a rebuilt multi-use games area at the Sports Field.
Public comment on the plans is welcomed as part of this process, which can be viewed at www.ghc.nhs.uk/foresthospital which also includes a feedback form for comments.
I encourage everyone to comment on these plans before the deadline at the end of next Friday, 23 July.