Update on the St Luke’s project

Update on the St Luke’s project provided by Dr David Sharp, Director for NHS England in Leicestershire, on behalf of NHS England, NHS Property Services and East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG, to the Community Leadership Scrutiny Panel of Market Harborough District Council on Thursday 15 January 2015.

Thank you for inviting me back again to give councillors as a group a further update on progress of the St Luke’s project on behalf of NHS England, NHS Property Services and East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG.

Current stage of the project

I am delighted to confirm that the project is at the final stage in the approvals process. The Board of NHS Property Services will consider the final business case next week (22 January) and, subject to their approval, work is planned to start in March / April 2015.

Construction is now due to finish in April / May 2016. There will then be six to eight weeks for fitting out. We estimate that the formal opening will be in June / July 2016 if there are no unforeseen delays – such as external providers connecting up utilities or commissioning phone lines – which are outside our control.

Significant investment in health services

As we all recognise, this project has had a long history but we must not lose sight of the fact that it forms the biggest investment in planned care in the county. Significant progress has already been made in providing the people of Market Harborough with modern healthcare services. A good example is the Endoscopy Unit, where there will be an additional session per week from February which will increase to two additional sessions from April, plus a further expansion in the range of services later in the year.

The CCG has provided a fuller written briefing for councillors.

War memorial

With regards to the war memorial I would like to reiterate that we understand how important it is to local people. The NHS remains absolutely committed to its protection. Its listed status also ensures the monument is protected.

We have previously said publicly that we will make it a condition of sale that any future developer should preserve and maintain public access to the monument, if the commissioners decide to make it surplus. Making it incumbent on the developer to do the work would enable us to both protect local heritage and ensure that NHS money is focused on care for patients. Alongside this, we are also working with Council members, officers and English Heritage to determine the options for how the war memorial can be best protected for future generations.

Next steps

I will write to Councillors via Norman Proudfoot to let you know the outcome of the NHS Property Services Board meeting next week. My job of securing the capital investment will then be done and responsibility for leading on this project will pass to NHS Property Services; we will liaise with Norman on who will be best placed to give future updates to this meeting.

The commissioners responsible for agreeing the range of services that will be provided on the site and I will ensure a clear process is set out for engagement and decision-making on this matter, which will involve councillors, patients and other stakeholders.

We look forward to continuing to work closely with the Council members and officers and the wider community to progress this significant investment in local health services