Town puts new cottage hospital on wish list for development

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As Towcester prepares to almost double in size, talks over the potential for a cottage hospital have emerged.

Tony Wilkinson, from Woodend, is a member of the south Northants Health and Wellbeing forum. He said he believes town residents who have treatment at Northampton General Hospital or other hospitals should have the ability to convalesce close to friends and relatives.

He said: “It would mainly be for elderly people and people recuperating from treatment at the general.

“Brackley has always had its cottage hospital which is now being replaced with a modern facility to serve them out on the edge of the district, but most people in Towcester receive treatment at the general and Towcester is the administrative centre of the district.”

The idea also has the backing of south Northants MP Andrea Leadsom who is seeking the support of the Department of Health.

She said GPs tell her that district residents are generally healthier and are more independent than people in other parts of the county.

She added: “As a result it makes sense to provide expertise locally that enables residents to remain independent, and in their own homes for as long as possible.

“I know the development of Towcester will mean a large new health facility will be made available, so if the community gets behind this, we have a one-off opportunity for real progress.”

A statement from the Greater East Midland Commissioning Support Unit said although they are not specifically looking at the cottage hospital model, plans for a health complex were included in the Towcester expansion plans.

The statement added: “Currently there are relatively limited access to “rehabilitation” beds in the local area, and a lack of a nursing homes in Towcester.

“We hope to establish a bedded facility in the town in conjunction with a provider of nursing home beds to help improve the situation and integrate this with our frail elderly programme that we will begin in November.

“We know that additional provision for community services will also be required to meet the needs of an expanding population and the changing service pathways.”

Funding and a site for the hospital are still to be identified.

Brackley’s cottage hospital replacement took more than two decades to get planning permission and secure funding.