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NHS Property Services working with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board to redevelop Ashurst Hospital after NPA grants planning permission for children’s wellbeing centre and a 70-bed care home

WORK is set to begin soon on converting Ashurst Hospital into a children’s wellbeing centre and a 70-bed care home.

NHS Property Services (NHSPS) is working with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board to begin the transformation after receiving full planning permission.

As reported in the A&T, New Forest NPA members agreed last year to allow a “child-friendly” facility to be developed at the Lyndhurst Road site alongside plans for a 70-bed care home, which will be sold to fund development.

The former Ashurst Hospital site
The former Ashurst Hospital site

The New Forest Birth Centre will be retained at the site, while the adjacent Snowden Annex will be extended to become the Ashurst Child and Family Wellbeing Centre.

The centre will include a children’s outpatient unit, a paediatric audiology department, a community nurses’ hub and the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

Derelict buildings on the site, including a mortuary, work house, offices and education centre, will be demolished, while a chapel will be retained.

To fund the project, NHSPS has provided the investment via its capital recycling programme in which funds are obtained through the sale of surplus land and property.

As part of the planning proposal, charity PEDALL will continue to provide its specialist and inclusive guided and independent cycling services. The organisation is a partner of NHSPS’ social prescribing programme, which seeks to transform vacant space into “community-driven areas” for health and wellbeing.

NHSPS said it will also work with the local parish council to explore options for how the on-site chapel can support local community initiatives and social enterprise programmes.

Senior estate strategy manager Paul Johnson said: “Receiving planning permission ensures we are able to take tangible steps in providing a modern, fit-for-purpose child and family welfare centre for Ashurst and neighbouring communities. We are looking forward to completing all necessary steps and commencing work on this site.”

Director for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, Sara Tiller, added: “This is a major milestone in the project and great news for patients. The refurbished hospital will benefit patients in the New Forest and beyond, and we’re delighted that we are now heading towards construction works.”

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