A public consultation programme has been launched by the Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company to support its planning application to develop a town centre building which would accommodate a community health hub.
The health hub is being developed in partnership with the NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board and East Hampshire District Council, and would accommodate all the services provided by the Chase Community Hospital as well as having space to house the relocation of the Forest Surgery and Chase Pharmacy.
The public planning consultation will include two exhibitions explaining the scheme, with the project team and representatives of the organisations involved on hand to provide information and answer questions, as well as a website – www.princephilippark.co.uk/planning – where the information and a survey will be available from May 18.
The public are invited to exhibitions being held at The Shed on May 18 from 6pm to 9pm, May 19 from 3pm to 6pm, and May 20 from midday to 4pm, and at the Forest Community Centre on May 25 from 6pm to 9pm, May 26 from 3pm to 6pm, and May 27 from midday to 4pm.
Residents can give their views and provide feedback either at the exhibitions or in the online survey.
At the same time a patient engagement programme, led by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board in conjunction with service providers Southern Health and the Forest Surgery, will also be taking place.
Patients of the Chase Community Hospital and the Forest Surgery will be invited to find out more about the planned move of services and give their views. A short online survey is open until June 2 for registered patients at the Forest Surgery, notification of which was sent directly from the practice.
The partners hope the health hub will be completed in 2025, with services moving in towards the end of that year. Service users and practice patients would be informed of progress and further health service engagement would be undertaken as the building took shape. The Chase Community Hospital and the Forest Surgery would remain open until all the services were transferred.
James Child, project lead at the Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company, said: “The new community health hub is an intrinsic part of the new inclusive town centre and we are pleased to invite local people along to the public exhibitions to share our plans and to hear their views.
"The information and feedback forms will also be available online for anyone that can’t make it, so hopefully everyone can get involved.”
Sara Tiller, the Hampshire place director at the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, said: “I’m so pleased that we’re able to begin engagement with our communities on the proposed new health hub which is at the heart of this new development.
"These next six weeks will give patients and residents the opportunity to formally feed back on the planned relocation of our health services in the area.”
Whitehill Town Council leader Cllr Andy Tree said: "It is definitely a positive for residents to be able to take a look at the proposals, so we can all be informed and make a judgement as to whether this is a good idea or not, compared to Chase Hospital.
"Chase Hospital must not close unless there is a clear and guaranteed better replacement already open. Until such time ever comes, we expect the NHS to honour the 2013 Chase Charter and keep Chase Hospital open.
"Extra beds are now being provided in Alton Community Hospital and an urgent treatment centre was opened in Petersfield in 2021. We remain totally dismayed that we are overlooked here, while NHS services are increased elsewhere. We deserve better, especially with our growing population."