Site for a new Community Hospital in the Forest of Dean

Posted by: Town Clerk - Posted on:

Map of the Collingwood Skate Park site
Map of the Collingwood Skate Park site

A joint announcement from ourselves and Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust is delighted to announce that a site for our new community hospital in the Forest of Dean has been identified, following a year of joint work with Cinderford Town Council.

The Trust plans to acquire and build on the Collingwood Skatepark and Lower High Street Playing Field in Steam Mills Road, Cinderford, a site which will put the new hospital close to the town centre and make it as accessible as possible whether travelling by car or by public transport.

Last August a Citizen’s Jury recommended Cinderford as the location for a new community hospital for the Forest of Dean, building on a prior series of engagement and consultation exercises with residents, colleagues and stakeholders.

Angela Potter, Director of Strategy and Partnership at Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is an exciting milestone which brings us a step closer to our vision of a modern, purpose-built hospital for the Forest of Dean.

“Working in partnership with the Town Council and Forestry England we believe we have found an excellent site and one which best suits the needs of the people of the Forest, in line with the recommendations of the Citizen’s Jury.”

Chris Witham, chair of Cinderford Town Council, added: “We believe the plans we have in place will be of benefit to the town and the Forest, allowing us to upgrade facilities and infrastructure on a range of well-used and well-loved sites.

“We’re pleased to be working in partnership with the NHS on this project, and will also continue to give the town a strong voice in the future use of the Dilke Memorial Hospital site.”

The intention is to transfer the Dockham Road surgery site to the Town Council to allow for more green space in the centre of Cinderford, which has been a long-standing and regular request from residents. Services in the surgery would relocate to the new Primary Care Centre being built in Valley Road and due to be completed in the summer of 2020.

A new skate park is set to be provided at Miner’s Field (off Barleycorn Square) to replace the existing park at the Sports Field. This would locate the skate park more centrally within the town, offer better and safer access and will include the provision of lighting, again in line with frequent requests from residents. The Town Council intends to invest alongside the NHS to add additional park and recreation facilities at the site.

The Trust would also fund the resurfacing of the multi-use games area (off Coronation Road and Mount Pleasant Road) from the current concrete to a Sports England approved surface to make it usable all year round and for a wider range of sports and activities.

The ongoing Fit for the Future engagement programme being run by Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group has been inviting public comment on services to be provided. The NHS will continue to engage local councils, stakeholders and communities regarding the future use of the Dilke and Lydney hospitals.

South West Ambulance Services is working with the Trust to consider the potential benefits of co-locating some of its resources at the proposed hospital site. Part of the land is subject to a covenant which the Trust is discussing with Forestry England.

The Trust is aiming to open the new hospital in Cinderford in 2022.

Map image © OpenStreetMap contributors.