Supporting the continued development of a new integrated healthcare centre during COVID-19

Trowbridge Community Hospital, Wiltshire

Background

Site: Land north east of Trowbridge Community Hospital

Customers/Stakeholders: Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (WCCG)

NHSPS representatives: Andrew Strange, Regional Partnership Director (Midlands), Will Everson, Associate Town Planner, Roger Ball, Senior Construction Manager

 

The challenge

Towards the end of 2019, NHS Property Services (NHSPS) was approached by WCCG for support in preparing and submitting a planning application for a new integrated healthcare centre.

This involved preparing all planning application submission documents and coordinating a community and councillor notification event.

The outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic naturally presented a challenge to the continuation of this planning process, but with some new and agile approaches we were sure we could continue.

The solution

A community consultation drop-in event had been programmed for 31 March 2020 to showcase the development proposals and answer any queries from local residents. However, following the outbreak of coronavirus, this event could not take place.

Working with NHSPS communications team and the communications lead for WCCG, a revised approach to community consultation was undertaken. This involved notifying key local councillors and then distributing a resident pack containing useful information about the scheme to over 300 addresses in the vicinity of the site.

We also set up a dedicated NHSPS webpage for residents to view the proposals online, which has been viewed over 70 times.

The impact

While a more comprehensive consultation had been planned, a critical priority was to strike an appropriate balance between public consultation and public health.

The approach taken ensured local councillors and residents were made aware of the application and encouraged to engage via the Council’s website. This has meant the application submission for this important piece of healthcare infrastructure could go ahead as planned and costly time delays avoided.

As the proposals are developed in more detail, it is hoped wider consultation can take place where appropriate.

Customer feedback

“Thank you again, hopefully this time it will be possible to developed such a much needed facility. Fully support the NHS in bringing such an important healthcare provision to Trowbridge.”

Cllr David Halik, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care Transformation