News and Notices

Buxton integrated health development - update June 2019

Issued on behalf of William Jones, chief operating officer

It has been a while since we updated you all on progress with the Buxton integrated health hub and I know there is, understandably, much interest from DCHS colleagues about what’s happening. So here is a quick summary of where we are and what comes next in terms of project milestones.

The 3.5 acre site at the former Buxton Water plant was purchased back in January 2018 and outline planning consent for the community hub has already been granted by High Peak Borough Council.

As you’ll be aware it is a complicated process, not least because we are working in partnership with multiple other organisations – us and 10 others. We need to ensure the new building accommodates everyone fairly and that the facilities we create match the needs of people in Buxton and the High Peak.

The outline business case for the project is due for completion in the next few weeks. This is being drawn up with all 11 organisations (including DCHS) who are interested in having a stake in the new development.

Our partners in this are: Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Buxton Medical Practice, Stewart Medical Centre, Elmwood Medical Centre, Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, Derbyshire Health United, Blythe House Hospice, Derbyshire County Council and High Peak Borough Council.

We are being supported in developing the outline business case by Turner and Townsend, a specialist consultancy in programme management, project management and cost management. The outline business case will need to go through each of the partner organisation's approval/governance processes – including our own at DCHS. It will also be subject to scrutiny by NHS Improvement and the Department of Health and Social Care. So spending time getting it right now is very important. This important work was funded by the Cabinet Office via a One Public Estate grant.

Another key milestone in the project comes next month (26 July) when a workshop is taking place, involving DCHS and all other key organisations to sense-check the proposed joint schedule of accommodation – looking at fine-tuning who needs what space in the new building and how we can maximise the way the space is used to fit into the available footprint and affordability.

The day is being facilitated by an external healthcare planner and is itself the fruition of much behind-the-scenes activity by our capital and estates team, and their counterparts in our partner organisations, to draw up the draft schedule, based on current and predicted needs.

Once the schedule of accommodation is finalised the architects can use this to develop more detailed plans and begin to fine-tune their provisional architectural concept designs. This architectural phase is likely to take a year, in readiness for submitting a planning application to High Peak Borough Council.

Running in tandem with this work, we are working towards being able to go to full business case in the first half of next year (2020). This is the phase which nails down details on the agreed financial arrangements, ownership and other specifics on how the project will be achieved.

The timeline we are working to in the business case anticipates a move-in date to the new building during 2024 – subject to the various planning, financial,  governance and construction steps in delivering a project of this scale.

As with our other new build projects, nearer the completion time there will be plenty of opportunity for staff who will be based in the new building to get involved in user-groups to work out the many details of colour schemes, blinds, cupboard locations and all those other finishing touches to ensure the space is fit for purpose.

As the DCHS executive with responsibility for our involvement in delivering the new integrated health hub, for a long time now I’ve been attending regular Project Control Boards with senior representatives of all the other partner organisations involved, to oversee the complexities of bringing together multiple partners into planning for shared purpose-designed accommodation. By laying firm foundations in terms of preparations now we will be in a strong position to deliver actual foundations on the ground and as we get further into the project we’ll make sure you are kept up-to-date on a regular basis.

William Jones
Chief Operating Officer
DCHS