Brighton General health hub

The Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (SCFT) is leading a project to redevelop the Brighton General Hospital site.

SCFT owns the site and is proposing to create a new community health hub, new facilities for the Sussex Rehabilitation Centre, a children’s nursery and Trust offices on site. 

The new state-of the-art facilities will bring health and care services together in a modern, consolidated campus, including:

  • Community nurses and therapists
  • Child development centre
  • Local authority children’s centres
  • Falls prevention
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Adult mental health services
  • Therapies and podiatry
  • GP surgery and pharmacy (new services)
  • Rehabilitation services for people with neurological impairment

The new community health hub will allow greater collaboration between NHS services for the benefit of patients. It will be flexible and adaptable in design, with the ability to update if needs change over time.

The site now

The 4.6 hectare site currently houses the Trust’s administrative offices and a range of community-based health and social care services, based in more than 20 buildings. It is a steeply sloping site, making it difficult to deliver services and for wheelchair-users, people with mobility issues and families with young children to access specialist clinics.

A new film highlights the barriers many visitors to the site face, through the experience of a seven-year-old wheelchair user who visits Brighton General twice a week for physiotherapy following a brain tumour diagnosis. 

Some of the buildings date from the 1860s and around half of the site is underused.

Working with the council

We are offering our support on exploring what we can do to deliver affordable housing on the site while also enabling a fully-funded healthcare scheme.  

In December 2019 we entered into a non-disclosure agreement with the Trust. The agreement helps because it means we can share sensitive financial information in commercial confidence, enabling us to work out practical, costed-up options for delivering low-cost homes as part of the overall scheme.

These options include:  

  • Exploring a partnership with a social housing provider to build and manage new low cost homes.
  • Joining with the Trust through our New Homes for Neighbourhoods or Homes for Brighton & Hove programmes to build and manage homes.
  • Partnership working with Homes England. 
  • Any other partnership working options that may be available to enable the delivery of more low-cost homes on the site.

This work is taking place alongside conversations with developers, led by Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust.

We will also work to make sure that the level of low-cost housing is as high as it can be in our role as the local planning authority, while not compromising vital facilities for NHS and specialist social care services. 

Funding

New healthcare investment will need to be paid for by the release of land which will be surplus to NHS requirements when the new services are combined in the new community health hub. 

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (SCFT) estimates that 3.5 hectares could be released for the development of new housing and community facilities and that around 700 homes could be built on-site.

SCFT will ring-fence all proceeds from the housing development to the healthcare scheme but it is essential that the housing value generates enough capital to deliver the healthcare facilities.

An outline business case for the health hub plan has been approved by the SCFT Board and the Trust’s commissioners, NHS Brighton & Hove Clinical Commissioning Group. The Trust will be seeking approval from its regulator, NHS Improvement, this year which will give the project team the green light to work up detailed plans and begin planning consultation.

Location of the new health hub

The Trust’s preferred location for the community health hub is the north-west corner of the site, with street level access from Elm Grove. The total area for redevelopment is around 12,500 square metres.

To achieve the aim of creating an accessible health hub, land will need to be acquired and prepared for development. This is known as site assembly. SCFT is talking with South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) about purchasing their adjoining site to enable the health hub to be located at the front of the site to make it more visible and easier to access.

Timescale

The Trust is working towards completing the new health hub by the end of 2024.

More information

Find out more about the Brighton General Health Hub.

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