An officer from the North East London Clinical Commissioning Group advised that £17m of Government funding had been received for the St George’s development. Planning consent had been received from the London Borough of Havering but the position with any call-in from the Greater London Authority was uncertain at this stage.
The development would see a single site for all services. Community dialysis would be moved to St George’s as well as mental health services, early diagnostics and adult & children’s social care services. The voluntary sector would be supported by a community hub at the site.
GP practices could be located at the site as well as community services such as podiatry, x-ray, phlebotomy and a frailty hub. Some outpatient services could be moved from Queen’s to St George’s depending on demand and the nature of the service. The St George’s site would incorporate a training centre for primary care staff.
The move of renal services into this community setting would free up space at Queen’s for an expansion of the A & E department. The frailty unit would incorporate both acute and preventative treatment. With a full range of services, quick, early diagnosis could be obtained.
Outpatient services would be both virtual and in-person and the hub would allow patients to be seen by e.g. cardiac and ENT specialists at the same time. All relevant patient records could also be kept on the site. The new development would also allow more GPs to become specialists and better career development for GP nurses. Two local GP practices would be relocated to better premises on the St George’s site and the number of GPs based on the site could be expanded as the population increased.
The hub would have one central reception desk and patients could be seen by a number of professionals on one visit e.g. phlebotomy, CT or MRI scans. It was hoped that the Outline Business Case for the development would be approved in the next 7-10 days.
Most services on the site would be closed by 8 pm but renal dialysis would continue until 10 pm. It was confirmed that the hub would be open 7 days per week. The times of service closures could be revisited at the planning stage. The primary care services at the site would be primarily for the South Havering area although no patients would be refused having their treatment at the hub. Scanning services for example could be made available to a wider area.
It was estimated that at least 300 patients a day would be seen at the hub. There were 111 parking spaces on the site which was the limit set by the Greater London Authority.
A total of 305 responses has been received to the engagement plan of which 90% supported the development and more than 80% supported the health and other services planned to be on the site. Some negativity had been expressed about mental health services being on the site. The engagement process was due to finish on 14 February.
It was suggested that the Sub-Committee be kept updated with progress on the St George’s hub and Members welcomed the plans overall. If plans were approved, it was hoped to start early work in May – July 2022 with the main construction starting in September 2022. The building was planned to be complete by November 2023 and open by January 2024.
Members asked the clerk to draw up a letter confirming their support for the project.