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Changes at hospital will mean 'more targeted' services, says health secretary

PUBLISHED: 16:15 16 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:15 16 July 2019

The ownership of Newmarket's community hospital will be transferred to West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust from NHS Property Services Picture: WSFT

The ownership of Newmarket's community hospital will be transferred to West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust from NHS Property Services Picture: WSFT

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NHS services will be better targeted to people's needs thanks to the transfer in ownership of a community hospital, health secretary Matt Hancock has said.

Chief executive Dr Stephen Dunn. Picture: West Suffolk NHS Foundation TrustChief executive Dr Stephen Dunn. Picture: West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

Newmarket's community hospital, in Exning Road, will be transferred to West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) from NHS Property Services following government approval.

A newly-developed policy enables NHS trusts to apply for ownership of buildings on their estate currently owned by NHS Property Services and Community Health Partnerships.

The trust had its transfer of ownership bid supported by the NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group and Matt Hancock, who is also MP for West Suffolk.

MORE: Plans approved for £1.3m hospital extension to house doctor's surgery

Left to right: West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) chairman Sheila Childerhouse, WSFT chief executive Dr Stephen Dunn, health secretary Matt Hancock and WSFT medical director Dr Nick Jenkins Picture: WSFTLeft to right: West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) chairman Sheila Childerhouse, WSFT chief executive Dr Stephen Dunn, health secretary Matt Hancock and WSFT medical director Dr Nick Jenkins Picture: WSFT

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Mr Hancock said: "This is fantastic news for healthcare in Newmarket. As the local MP, I'm delighted that the Newmarket Community Hospital will be in the very capable hands of the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

"This, along with the relocation of the Oakfield Surgery to the Newmarket Community Hospital, as well as the plan to develop a health hub there, will be great for the community in Newmarket. 
"With the transfer of ownership, services can be more targeted to address the needs of the local population, supporting patients and their families in their community."

MORE: New £12m hospital accommodation blocks are officially opened

The business case has been approved in principle by the Department of Health and Social Care, and the transfer will be finalised on the completion of a series of conditions applied to the business case.

Stephen Dunn, West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust chief executive, said: "Matt Hancock has been instrumental in establishing central government policy around the ability to enable local NHS services to apply for ownership of buildings. 
"He has fought hard for this and we, in partnership with our wider health and social care teams and voluntary and community sector, are working closely together to develop the health and wellbeing of our communities in Newmarket town and its surrounding villages."

The £1.3m project led by NHS Property Services, to accommodate the relocation of Newmarket's Oakfield Surgery to Newmarket Community Hospital is already underway and will enable primary care to complement services already at the local hospital.

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