North Devon District Hospital is set for a major multi-million redevelopment following confirmation of £3.7billion in Government funding for 40 new hospitals.
It is among 11 scheduled for development in the South West as part of what is being touted as the ‘biggest hospital-building programme in a generation’.
The NDDH acute hospital site in Barnstaple is earmarked for a ‘rebuild’ and the NHS has said it wants local people to be a key part of the redevelopment.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed the investment package, which would also see a new integrated emergency care hospital at Derriford in Plymouth plus an acute ‘hot’ hospital and a new elective centre at Torbay Hospital in Torquay.
It is proposed for the work to be completed by 2030, with North Devon among 25 hospitals that received seed funding to develop a business case as part of the second wave of the Health Infrastructure Plan (HIP).
It is early days, but the indications are for a redevelopment of the hospital at the current NDDH site rather than a brand new building in a different location.
NHS bosses have stressed the redevelopment of the NDDH site is very much in the early planning stage, but they are keen for the community to have their say.
Philippa Slinger, lead chief executive for the NHS in Devon, said: “This is very welcome news. We are at a very early stage in the planning for these major schemes, which would bring about huge benefits for local people and NHS staff.
“We want to make sure that everyone in Devon, no matter where they live in the county, gets high quality healthcare, delivered in fit for purpose buildings, when they need it, and these developments would help us achieve that.
“We will involve local people in the development of our plans to make sure we create a first-class and resilient service that meets their needs for many years to come.”
North Devon MP Selaine Saxby said that it proved the Conservatives were delivering on people’s priorities.
She said: “I was proud to be elected at last year’s election to deliver on the people’s priorities, such as investing in the NHS.
“We have a huge opportunity now with long term investment into our NHS to level up and delivering lasting change. I look forward to working with Northern Devon Healthcare Trust as they start putting plans into place.”
During the 2019 election campaign, Boris Johnson confirmed to the Gazette that North Devon was ‘on the list’ as part of the major investment programme in new hospitals.