Last week, Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust unveiled plans to redevelop Brighton General Hospital site into a purpose built ‘Health Hub’, which will serve Brighton and it’s surrounding areas, with the aim of providing ‘modern, sustainable facilities for community health services.’
These plans outlined several options for the redevelopment of the site. Out of five options, three offer plans for a huge portion of the site to be transformed into residential buildings, which will sit alongside other new buildings that will house the proposed ‘Health Hub’.
Despite the fact that the site is currently home to a range of community health services, as well as administrative offices, the Trust estimates that only 50% of the site is being effectively used, and claims that ‘current buildings are no longer fit for the delivery of modern health and care services’.
The Trust’s Chief Executive, Siobhan Melia, has added that the ‘challenge is to help make sure the NHS can meeting the changing needs of the people that rely on it’, as well as describing the redevelopment as a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity.’
The site of the old hospital, which looks over Brighton at the top of Elm Grove is rooted in history: it originally opened as a workhouse in the Victorian era, as as a Poor Law Institution. Workhouses such as these became infamous for horrendous work conditions, and being opened with the intention of deterring the poor from seeking financial help. By 1948 the site had been transformed in a general hospital, there has now not been a hospital on the site since 2009, when the final inpatient beds were removed.
The trust is inviting members of the Brighton and Hove community to have their say on the proposed options for the site. See their website to submit your preferred option for the future of the Brighton General. The full redevelopment proposal is available to access here.