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Northwood and Pinner Community Hospital Consultation

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This is the letter which has been sent to people to inform them of the current situation.

Where we are | The way forward | Make your voice heard |

NHS Hillingdon Primary Care Trust

Kirk House
97-109 High Street
Yiewsley
Middlesex
UB7 7HJ 

Tel: 01895 452000

Fax: 01895 452108

Website: www.hillingdon.nhs.uk

1 Feb 2007

Dear resident

The Future of Northwood and Pinner Community Hospital

I am writing to seek your views about the future of Northwood and Pinner Community Hospital, Pinner Road, Northwood.

Over recent years, the condition and location of the hospital building has been causing concern and has presented significant issues for Hillingdon Primary Care Trust. In particular, the delivery of services and the safety and security of both patients and staff. As such, it has been necessary to relocate all patient services to other NHS facilities.

The PCT has an overriding duty to deliver services within its available resources and the urgent removal late last year of the remaining on site service has meant that we now need to plan for the future.

Where we are

Northwood and Pinner Community Hospital was built from local community support and opened in 1924. The hospital was subsequently expanded in 1930 and transferred to the NHS in 1948. The Friends of the Hospital, a voluntary association, has provided essential support to the hospital ever since.
However, this assistance, together with funds from the past sale of land for retirement homes, has not been sufficient to fund and to maintain the hospital building. Therefore, in order to provide safe, effective and efficient services, patients and beds were relocated to Mount Vernon hospital nearly two years ago. This move also had the benefit of locating those patients closer to other health services that provide valuable clinical support to the patients. Finally last November, break-ins and other security breaches required the last remaining service at the Hospital (outpatient physiotherapy service) to be moved to Eastcote Health Centre.

When the inpatient older people’s services were relocated to Mount Vernon in 2005, it was proposed that the Northwood and Pinner Hospital site would be redeveloped, with the building being renovated and patients and beds returned to the site. The reality is that due to the PCT’s financial difficulties, it would be unrealistic to foresee a plan where money is available in the short term to redevelop Northwood and Pinner Community Hospital.

The reality is that the PCT is in severe financial difficulties and cannot, with its present responsibilities and commitments, guarantee that funding would be available to do this in the future. In the meantime, the PCT has an ongoing liability to keep the building safe, secure and weather tight which, in itself has costs attached to it, in the region of £300,000 per annum.

The way forward

The question now is what should we do? We recognise that since the 1980’s, the NHS in Hillingdon has had a poor record of consulting with patients and the general public about changes, and proposals for the hospital or the hospital site. Well intended but unsustainable commitments have also been made to maintain the building as an operational hospital. For reasons which I have explained, the time has now come to consider the most effective use of the site to support local health services. Any consideration of the way forward must be cost effective and balanced against priorities for health care and health services for the whole of the Hillingdon population.

Any consideration of the way forward must take account of the financial constraints imposed upon the PCT.

There are different options that we could explore. These include:

1) continuing to pay £300,000 per annum for the ongoing maintenance of the empty hospital building so that it may reopen sometime in the future;

2) closing the hospital building and redeveloping the site for new healthcare facilities

3) closing the hospital building for other non health forms of redevelopment which would provide funding for (new or alternative) healthcare services in North Hillingdon.

Depending upon the preferred option, we would also seek views on how these options could be funded within the NHS Community.

The PCT would wish to use the feedback from the public to this consultation exercise as a basis for wider public engagement on future health services in North Hillingdon to be developed over the course of the next twelve months.

Make your voice heard

Hillingdon Primary Care Trust welcomes the views of the local community, at this important time, on local patient services. We have arranged a number of opportunities for consultation and you will see articles in the local press and on our website. No decisions will be made until late Spring/early Summer 2007 after the PCT Board has had an opportunity to consider a report on the results of this consultation.

We would be very grateful if you would therefore spend a little time completing the enclosed form and returning it to us in the pre-paid envelope by 17 April 2007. A copy of the form along with other information can also be downloaded from our website at: www.hillingdon.nhs.uk/consultNPCH.html

Should you wish to have more information about the future of Northwood and Pinner Hospital, please do not hesitate to contact us by telephone on 01895 452899 or via e-mail on consult@hillingdon.nhs.uk

We will also be holding open events at Northwood and Pinner Community Hospital which members of the PCT Executive Team will be on hand to respond to any questions that you might have. The open events will be held on the following dates:

  • Thursday 22nd February - 5pm to 8pm
  • Saturday 24th February - 12noon to 3pm
  • Monday 5th March - 10am to 1pm

A public meeting is also being planned for early April (date to be confirmed). This event will be widely publicised during the consultation period via the local press and on the PCT website.

I would like to thank you in advance for your help and interest.

Yours faithfully

Antony Sumara
Chief Executive