Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (SCFT) is looking to develop the East Brighton ‘Brighton General’ site into a purpose built Community Health Hub for patients from across Brighton and Hove, and Sussex.

The Brighton General site, which is owned by the Trust, was originally built as a workhouse in the 1860s. It became a general hospital in 1948 but by 2009 the wards no longer met the relevant standards and there has not been a hospital on the site since then.

This development project gives us an exciting opportunity to redesign the site in a way that makes sense for our patients, their carers and our staff and brings our buildings and facilities up to the standard we want and need to truly provide 21st century care.

The scope for development has a much broader remit than just renovating or replacing old buildings. SCFT is working with other physical and mental health care providers to explore other opportunities that could allow us to add to and modernise existing services. For example, we are exploring with local commissioners and local people, what additional services could be provided from the site, including GP services.

The Trust has engaged with patients, the community, the public and people who work from the Brighton General site since the launch of the project in November 2017.

In 2018, we drew up a shortlist of design options for the site and asked people what they thought was important.

84% of the public and 86% of staff already consulted say they are supportive of the Trust’s vision to redevelop the Brighton General site and build a modern community Health Hub.  Over 80% supported the idea of bringing GP and pharmacy services on site.

Over half of the people who attended community roadshow events in the city about the project preferred a design option that concentrated health facilities on a small campus facing Elm Grove.

A summary of the patient, public and staff engagement that has taken place so far is available here.


Latest news - Outline Business Case with NHS regulator

The current preferred option for the redevelopment of the Brighton General site is ‘Option 5’ of the Outline Business Case (OBC).

The Trust’s Board approved Option 5 (which is described in the summary document here) with some small changes. The details are set out in the Board paper here.

The OBC was submitted to our regulator, NHS Improvement (NHSI), for approval at the end of 2018, following its approval by the Trust’s Board and NHS Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group. NHSI consideration of the OBC is still underway.

We are keen to move on to the next stage of the project – developing a Full Business Case in consultation with staff, patients, local people and partner organisations – and will post updates here as and when things change, so that we can continue to involve local people and providers in conversations about this project.

The Trust will also be posting #BuildBetterNHS videos and updates on social media.

The site covers an area of just over four hectares - equivalent in size to four football pitches - in east Brighton at the top of Elm Grove by Brighton Racecourse.

The site currently houses a range of community, mental health, rehabilitation and outpatient services. It also accommodates a number of health service administrative and support staff. Much of the estate is used for offices or team bases for staff working in the community.

Services

Provider/s

A number of children’s physical and mental health, and social care services.

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Brighton & Hove City Council

Adult Podiatry, Speech and Language Therapy, Osteoporosis and Falls Prevention, Occupational Health

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust

The Sussex Rehabilitation Centre

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust

Physiotherapy, Dermatology, Hand Therapy

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

Adult Mental Health Services

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Various Clinical Admin/Support Teams, including Trust HQ

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust

Various non-Clinical Admin/Support Teams

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust

Finance Team

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

Hilltop Nursery

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust

The current buildings are no longer fit for the delivery of modern health and care services. Many buildings are decaying badly, are damp and provide inflexible layouts originally designed for Victorian workhouse buildings. Feedback from patients and service users has told us that clinical areas are fragmented, the site is difficult to navigate and that the overall environment is not welcoming. Buildings are becoming increasingly expensive to maintain as they age, diverting funds from our budget that we would much rather spend on frontline NHS service delivery and patient care.

A number of buildings have deteriorated so badly they have to be left empty for many years and those that are occupied are under-used. Overall the site is approximately 50% utilised.

The first phase of the project is simply about looking at the various options for how the site could be organised in the future, and deciding which one works best for everyone involved.

The Trust has appointed a consortium led by Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) who has undertake an assessment of the services currently located on the site and what those services need, in terms of space and facilities, now and into the future.

Engagement activity has been and will continue to be phased. This ensures that stakeholders are being engaged at the right time, and being given the opportunity to genuinely be involved in the planning process.

Here is a summary of public, patient and staff engagement undertaken so far.

Public & Patient Engagement

The Trust held a public and patient drop-in event on Thursday 7 June 2018 at the Brighthelm Centre in central Brighton. The event shared a shortlist of options for how the new Health Hub could be developed and invited people to share their views and provide their preferred option for redevelopment through a survey.

Over 20 community groups were visited by Trust representatives during summer 2018, in order to canvas local views and provide information about the Health Hub project.

Trust representatives visited services provided from the site to gather views from patients, service users and their carers in 2018 and to encourage participation in the Public & Patient survey.

A Patient Forum was established in 2018 and will run for the duration of the project through which patients and carers can give their views. In addition, wider communication and engagement with patients and carers who use services currently provided from the site will continue throughout the project, using a variety of new and existing mechanisms, including open meetings, written and online updates and surveys, social media and the Trust’s website.

Staff Engagement

Assessors have spoken to representatives of all clinical services provided on the site about what their services may need, in terms of space and facilities, now and into the future.

A series of staff engagement events were held in 2018 and views on a preferred design option were collected via a staff survey.