Report from NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group

Ambitious plans to build a new health and wellbeing centre in Dartmouth received a TRIPLE boost this week NHS Devon CCG has told Healthwatch Devon, who has been present at Dartmouth Working Group meetings.

• South Hams District Council approves business case
• GP practice agrees to relocate to new facility
• NHS confirms financial model and £multi-million build figures

The local NHS, South Hams District Council (SHDC), Dartmouth Medical Practice and other partners are working together to build a state-of-the-art new home for GP and NHS services in the town.

The new building will be light, airy and built to modern health and energy standards, providing an improved experience for patients. The aim of the new centre is to bring many local health services under one roof, for the benefit of people in Dartmouth. It will provide a wide range of services formerly provided at Dartmouth Hospital and currently offered by TSDFT at Dartmouth Clinic, which was re-purposed as an interim health and wellbeing centre in 2017. It would also house Dartmouth Medical Practice, Dartmouth Caring, and retail outlets such as a pharmacy.

The project has taken major steps forward in recent days.

On 18 July 2019, South Hams District Council’s Executive approved the business case for the scheme, which sets out the way it will be funded and built and how the council will lease the building to the head tenant, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust (TSDFT).

The new centre is set to be built on part of the land currently used as an overflow for the park and ride at the top of town.

The council previously agreed the principle of developing a Health and Wellbeing Centre for Dartmouth in December 2018 and the scheme is subject to design, planning permission and lease agreements.

Cllr Hilary Bastone, SHDC’s Deputy Leader said: “I am delighted that the council is working with the NHS to build a modern, fit-for-purpose health and wellbeing centre for local people. This investment is good for the council and good for the population of Dartmouth and the surrounding villages.”

And this week, GPs from Dartmouth Medical Practice formally announced they will relocate from their Victoria Road surgery to the new site after terms were agreed with NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is the local
headquarters for the NHS, responsible for planning and paying for local health services.

The practice will lease its part of the building from the head tenant, TSDFT.

Dr Andrew Eynon-Lewis, senior partner at Dartmouth Medical Practice said: “Moving to the new health and wellbeing centre will bring huge benefits for our patients and our hard-working practice team.

“Patients can look forward to receiving healthcare in a modern, accessible and fit-forpurpose building, while the new facility also puts GP services on a more sustainable footing by providing an attractive place to work for GPs and allowing us expand our training programme.”

The move is subject to agreeing the detailed terms of the practice’s occupancy.

This week, TSDFT also announced it had approved the financial model for the scheme and confirmed details about the sums being invested by the NHS.

The cost of building the centre will be £4.1 million, about £1 million of which will come from the sale of the former Dartmouth Community Hospital, which closed in 2017 when services were relocated or changed further to a full public consultation. The overall project cost is £4.8 million.

Services to be provided by the trust in the new building include:
• Ante-Natal Clinics
• Audiology
• Bladder and Bowel Clinic
• Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)Counselling
• Community Therapy Team
• Dartmouth Caring – counsellors
• Talkworks (formerly the Depression and Anxiety Service)
• Devon Carers
• Diabetic Eye Screening
• District Nursing Team
• Ear, Nose & Throat
• Heart Failure Clinic
• Lower Limb Therapy Clinic
• Minor Ops
• Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy
• Osteopath
• Paediatric Clinic
• Podiatry

Services, such as intermediate care, community therapy, community nurses, social services, are provided in the community.

TSDFT chief executive Liz Davenport added: “We’re really pleased this exciting project is gathering momentum and has passed some major milestones in recent days. We’re investing in bringing a first-class facility to people in Dartmouth and
we’re looking forward to continuing to work with our local partners on developing the plans.”

Simon Tapley, interim accountable officer for Devon CCG, said: “We know from experience that bringing different health services together under one roof has huge benefits for patients and the NHS. I’d like to thank CCG colleagues, TSDFT,
Dartmouth Medical Practice and the council for pulling together to bring a superb new building closer to fruition.”

Current plans are for the new centre to be built on about half of the existing overflow car park, which is currently a field, with the rest of the land formally laid out to provide 90 car parking spaces.

South Hams District Council is confident it can address the loss of spaces in the overflow car park by redesigning the layout of the current park and ride. The overflow facility is usually only used for the six-week summer school holiday, and
only when weather permits, since the grassed area cannot be used when raining.

The paper before the council’s Executive stated that weekend capacity would be not be unduly affected as the health and wellbeing centre would not have high demand during those periods and the car park would therefore be available. Coach parking and main park and ride parking capacity are unaffected.

The next step is for the council to enter into an agreement with TSDFT and jointly complete the design phase of the project, which would be followed by a planning application.

Project timescales will be confirmed soon, but it is hoped an application for planning permission could be submitted early in 2020 and should it be approved, the project could be complete in 2021.

The NHS will also continue to work with local partners in Dartmouth on local health and care issues.

END

NHS Devon CCG was formed on 1 April 2019 from the merger of South Devon and Torbay CCG and Northern, Eastern and Western Devon CCG. Devon CCG, acts as the headquarters for the NHS in the county and has a budget of more than £1.8 billion.

To contact NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group for more information, call 01392 674801 or email alex.cameron2@nhs.net or
d-ccg.corporateservices@nhs.net.

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