‘Devastation’ as Hucknall health hub plans are put on hold
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The town had been shortlisted as one of six national pioneer projects for a new ‘all under one roof’ community hub concept aimed at supporting the health and wellbeing of the local population rather than just treating illnesses.
One Hucknall councillor said the news was “devastating” for the community and “yet another broken promise to the people of Hucknall”.
The decision to pause the plans was made in February, but an announcement was not made at the time.
NHS Nottinghamshire Integrated Care Board documents reveal: “In February, the ICB was required to pause the work relating to the Hucknall health and wellbeing hub development while we awaited an updated national directive.
“We continue to work to secure the feasibility of a new health facility in Hucknall, building on the work undertaken with partners and patients as part of the Cavell programme, whilst we await the update.
“We are committed to delivering improved access to primary care services, working with Ashfield Council and local partners, and are considering all our options.
“To ease the current pressure in the short term we are making some minor improvements to the Hucknall Health Centre building to increase capacity.”
Coun Lee Waters, Nottinghamshire Council member for Hucknall South, said: “The news NHS England has paused plans for our critical new health centre is devastating.
“There are a lot of people who will be furious at yet another broken promise to the people of Hucknall.
"There are five other locations in the UK promised a super health centre who have also been let down. The Government needs to intervene.
“Ashfield Council has already committed more than £1 million to the project and we remain resolute in delivering a new super health centre to address a health care crisis caused by continual let-downs like this in Hucknall.
“I can reassure residents, Ashfield Independent councillors won’t take this lying down and will do everything within their power to ensure Hucknall residents get the access to healthcare they deserve.”
Coun Waters also questioned how the ICB intends to mitigate the impact of the plans in the short-term and said the Ashfield Independents had written to the ICB for further information.
The centre was seen as the way to improve Hucknall’s health provision.
Ashfield Council originally intended to build it on part of the Piggins Croft Car Park in the town, but this was met with strong opposition, with many residents feeling it would further reduce Hucknall’s already-limited parking options.
The council then announced proposals to build it on the site of a derelict pub in the town.
An NHS Nottinghamshire spokesman said: “In January, we were asked by NHS England to pause work related to the Hucknall health and wellbeing hub while we awaited a national directive.
“NHS England paused the development of the project business cases, to focus on developing the programme business case ahead of a bid for capital funding for the programme at the upcoming spending review.
“We remain committed to the development of health and care facilities in Hucknall.”
NHS England said local ICBs are free to use their capital budgets to fund the building of Cavell Centres if they consider it a priority.