Surplus land around Hinchingbrooke Hospital and Cambridgeshire police’s HQ in Huntingdon could be turned into a new health campus, including a purpose-built facility for people with dementia.
While the proposals are at a very early stage, the Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust has agreed a ‘memorandum of understanding’ with Cambridgeshire police and crime commissioner (PCC), Sir Graham Bright, about working together to examine the feasibility of developing the land.
The hospital has surplus land and buildings at the back of its site while the police land includes its sports fields – together they amount to about 12.5 acres. Part of the site, however, is included in the proposals for the upgrade for the A14 – a road would pass through the site linking Brampton Road with a de-trunked section of the current A14 at Views Common.
The remaining land could be used for a ‘community and leisure campus’ as well as new homes, according to a report prepared for the PCC.
The Hunts Post has been told that the campus would be a be a “one-stop shop for all the local health needs in the community”.
Rather than Hinchingbrooke providing just a hospital site, the expanded campus would include “community health services, a dementia village, and other service which focus on the wellbeing of patients, rather than just their treatment”.
A gym and physiotherapy units could also be included along with homes – some of which would provide accommodation for doctors and nurses who are training at Hinchingbrooke.
A source told the newspaper: “The plans are exactly what a small hospital like Hinchingbrooke needs to integrate care for patients.”
While details about the dementia village are very limited at this time, the concept could be based on an idea used in the Netherlands – a village where residents are free to move around the village as they please while carers are on hand, staffing the restaurant, shop and other facilities.
The next stage for the project will see Hinchingbrooke Trust fund and produce a vision document and business case. If it gets approval from the PCC and the trust, the next stage would be to seek planning permission.