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.

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.

It drew up a shortlist of options for the site and asked people what they thought was important.

Over 700 people responded to the survey with their feedback and their views helped inform decision-making at Board level.


Latest news - Board chooses preferred option

The Trust's Board met on 25 October to discuss the potential options for the site.

The 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 approved option would see a brand new health hub constructed near Elm Grove, with the overwhelming majority of clinical and back office teams currently based and Brighton General remaining on site.

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

You can find out more information about the decision and what happens next here.



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.



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 June 2018

The trust held a public and patient drop-in event on Thursday 7 June at the Brighthelm Centre

Engagement May 2018

The Trust is engaging with patients, the public and staff about five potential options for redevelopment.

Public survey

Patients and the public can share their views and provide their preferred option for redevelopment by completing this patient and public survey - please note the survey closes 21 June 2018. We are also visiting services provided from the site to gather views from patients, service users and their carers.

Public drop-in event

The Trust is holding a public drop-in event on Thursday 7 June for anyone who is interested in the project. There will be an array of stalls including: the case for change; a shortlist of options on how the new 'community health hub' could be developed - feedback from the public is encouraged; improving access to services on the site; how redevelopment of the site will help improve the local community; as well as a stand from our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). People can find out more and book a place here.

Staff engagement

Staff events are being held during May and a second staff survey is currently live. Staff can share their views and provide their preferred option for redevelopment by completing this staff survey - please note the survey closes 21 June 2018.

Next stages

The next stage in the process is for the Trust to then draw up a costed plan known as an ‘business case’ with a series of options for consideration. Following engagement with patients, public and staff the SCFT Board will make a decision based on which option to take forward. This will form part of a formal document known as an ‘Outline Business Case’ which needs to be approved by the national NHS Improvement organisation.

This is a highly complex programme of work and nothing is going to change in the immediate future but our intention is to move forward with as much pace as is realistically possible to deliver a modern and flexible healthcare facility.

The aim is to deliver a project that is cash neutral i.e. the money made from the sale of any land/assets will cover the cost of the development of a new Community Health Hub.

Engagement April 2018


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.

Wider communication and engagement with all staff who work from or are based at the site took place in early 2018 including an initial staff survey about the site - over 250 members of staff responded.


A Patient Forum was established 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.


The launch of a public survey, asking for the views of patients, carers and the wider local community, took place and completed in March 2018. Over 240 members of the public responded.