Ground breaking at new Townlands Hospital

by Graham Saunders

NHS Property Services and Amber Solutions for Care were joined by key members of the Henley community and local NHS partners at a special ground breaking ceremony to mark the start of construction of the new Townlands Hospital.

The new hospital forms a key element of South Oxfordshire District Council’s plan for the development of Henley-on-Thames.

Robin Williams, Chair of NHS Property Services, said: “Today is a proud day for everyone involved in the project as we mark the construction of this fantastic new healthcare facility.

“We sincerely thank everyone for their hard work and involvement in bringing the project to this exciting point. Although there is still a lot of work to do, today signifies the huge amount of progress that has been made.”

Mike Leto, Project Director for Amber Solutions for Care said: “This is an exciting stage in the re-development of Townlands, which will provide the NHS with real value for money in enhancing the community’s existing healthcare facilities. We are looking forward to managing the project in partnership with NHS Property Services and VINCI Construction UK.”

The central part of the site will be devoted to healthcare and will provide a variety of services, including inpatient, outpatient and ambulatory care, x-ray, podiatry, physiotherapy and dentistry.

On the remainder of the site, a 64-bed care home will be developed, while the existing land and Listed Buildings will be adapted and extended to provide 32 assisted-living and 12 new “key worker” residences.

NHS Property Services owns the 2.36 hectare Townlands site and Amber Solutions for Care has been appointed to design, build, fund and maintain the new health facility. Construction will take around two years.

Councillor Ian Reissmann, Chair of the Townlands Steering Group, said:  “Today is an exciting day for everyone in and around Henley who relies on Townlands Hospital.

“The community has been unwavering in its support for Townlands and ensuring this redevelopment secures its long-term future in a 21st Century setting.

“It has been a long struggle since the War Memorial Hospital closed in 1983 and we would like to thank and congratulate everyone involved for their hard work and commitment in getting the project to this point with construction underway.”

The ground breaking ceremony took place on 23 June 2014.