A total of £5.94 million earmarked for the redevelopment of health services in Belper is ring-fenced for use as the project develops over the next 18 months, health leaders have reassured residents.
The multi-million pound funding was secured earlier this year from the Government as part of a cashpot for projects which will have a major impact on developing integrated health and social care services for patients.
The project to develop new purpose-built health facilities in Belper is being led by Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, which currently runs services in Babington Hospital and Belper Clinic which the trust says are no longer suitable for modern healthcare.
In June this year, following a public engagement process, NHS commissioners at Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group made the decision that services should be moved out of the former workhouse site at Babington Hospital once a new health facility is built.
With the funding for a new healthcare building on Derwent Street secured and the decision to relocate out of the Babington Hospital site agreed, work has continued over the summer of 2018 to develop the plans for the new facilities.
William Jones, chief operating officer for Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The £5.94m allocation is awarded to us to draw down as the new buildproject develops.
“That is not affected by any other NHS budget considerations.
“We are busy looking at technical specifications and working with our staff on accommodation requirements for the new building.
“This is very detailed work and is being done in conjunction with our appointed architect.
“We also continue to work closely with Derbyshire County Council so that health and social care plans are fully aligned.
“We look forward to being able to share the plans for the new healthcare building at the earliest possible time with people in Belper.
“Until then we are working hard on ensuring we get the plans right so that we make best possible use of this opportunity to give local people brand new facilities.”
The move from Babington Hospital proved unpopular with some residents – and a campaign was launched to keep healthcare facilities in the historic building.