A new future for the former Dartmouth and Kingswear Cottage Hospital

Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust and Dartmouth Town Council are working together to explore whether redevelopment of the former Dartmouth Hospital site could include uses to benefit people in and around Dartmouth. We would like to hear your views about development of the site. Healthwatch is supporting us by running this independent survey, which will run until 8 December. Healthwatch will collate all responses into an independent report to share with the Council and the Trust.
 
What we are doing
The NHS has been changing the way it provides health services, moving away from a reliance on hospital beds to provide more services in people’s communities. Building work started in June on a new £4.8m Health and Wellbeing Centre in Dartmouth, which is due to open in late Summer 2022. This brings together a range of services in a single, purpose-designed centre including GPs, social care workers, Dartmouth Caring, community nurses and therapists, and a pharmacy - to better support individuals and the community as a whole.

Part of the funding for the new building will come from the sale or re-development of the former Dartmouth and Kingswear Cottage Hospital site, which closed in 2017. The Trust’s Board of Directors recognised that it would not be cost-effective or within the NHS remit to develop the site but, considering the importance of the site to the community, the Trust agreed to explore how future re-development could benefit the local community. 
 
Plan A: working in partnership for a community bid
Dartmouth Town Council, in partnership with other local stakeholders, would like to buy the site and manage how it is developed, so that both the local economy and the local community benefit. The Trust is supporting the Council to develop a community-led bid for the site. This is the preferred option for any sale, because it gives local people a real say in how the site should be developed in future. 

There are some constraints we are working within:
  • The Trust needs to receive funds from any sale by 31 March 2023, because the money is being re-invested into the new Dartmouth Health and Wellbeing Centre. Building work on the new centre is now underway, and the agreed payment schedule means these funds are needed no later than March 2023.
  • As an NHS organisation, the Trust is required to achieve open market value for any property sale. This does not necessarily mean selling to the highest bidder, and NHS regulators support an approach of delivering ‘best value’ for Dartmouth.
  • Dartmouth Town Council has to seek funding partners so that there is enough money to cover purchase of the land and development costs.
  • Any bid has to be ‘commercially viable’; any development on the site must cover all the costs of development plus the cost of buying the land.  Part of the site will still need to be earmarked for commercial development, as this is what will help to fund the community aspect of the proposal.
  • We are now working together to produce a development brief and agree the terms for a community bid. Timescales are very tight, so we need to know by the time the Trust board meets at the end of January 2022 whether a community bid is feasible.  
Plan B:
If the Town Council is unable to secure funding to support a community bid for the site, the Trust will advertise it for sale on the open market during 2022. We need money in our account by March 2023 to pay the Trust’s share of costs for the new Dartmouth Health and Wellbeing Centre. We would share our agreed development brief with other interested parties and planning authorities, in an effort to achieve the same community value as we would in a community bid. But we could not guarantee its success.

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* 1. If a community bid is put forward, as outlined about, would you want Dartmouth Town Council to be involved in this?

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* 2. If you answered "no" to the previous question, what are your reasons for giving this answer?

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* 3. What facilities for local people would you like to be considered as part of any development plans? Please rank as many of these options as you like in order of their importance to you – from 1 for your first choice down to 6.

Please note these are merely ideas at this stage of the process – and you may have other suggestions to add, which we would like to hear about. We are really keen for you to consider what benefits any scheme could potentially offer for local people.

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* 4. Do you have any other suggestions for use of the site?

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* 5. How would you like to remain informed and engaged about Dartmouth Town Council’s plans for a community bid for the hospital site?

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* 6. If you would like us to stay in touch, please share your contact details.

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* 7. Do you live in TQ6?

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* 8. If you do not live in TQ6, what is the first part of your postcode? (e.g. TQ1)

Thank you for sharing your views with us. If you have given us your contact details, we will be in touch with updates. If you have any queries about completing this survey, please contact Healthwatch on 0800 0520029.
Questions about you
So that we can see whether we have responses from a representative section of the community, it would be helpful if you could also answer the following questions. If you would prefer not to answer these, you can leave this section blank.

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* 9. How old are you?

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* 10. How would you describe your ethnicity?

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* 11. How would you describe your gender?

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* 12. How would you describe your sexual orientation?

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* 13. Do you have a disability?

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* 14. If so, what type of disability do you have?

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* 15. Are you a carer? (NHS England defines a carer as anyone who looks after a family member or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support). 

Thank you very much for completing this survey. Your feedback is appreciated. 

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