New video shows how the Brighton General Health Hub will benefit patients
17 January 2020

New video shows how the Brighton General Health Hub will benefit patients

A video released today by Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (SCFT) gives local people and patients a first look at what a plan to redevelop the Brighton General site off Elm Grove in east Brighton could look like, and how new facilities will make it easier for patients to get the care they need.

The ‘Building a Better NHS for Patients’ video contains aerial and street-level artist’s impressions of a new-build community health hub, Sussex Rehabilitation Centre and the NHS car park on the north west corner of the site.

The Brighton General redevelopment plan has received widespread support from local patients and their families, including seven-year-old Brighton schoolgirl, Nicola Pachulska, and her mum, Monika Solorz, who both feature in the #BuildBetterNHS video released today on Facebook and YouTube:

Wheelchair user Nicola is undergoing chemotherapy after a brain tumour diagnosis and visits the children’s disability service on the Brighton General site twice a week for intensive physiotherapy sessions. However, as the #BuildBetterNHS video highlights, the layout of the site currently presents a series of unwelcome challenges for Nicola and other patients:

• lack of suitable parking for disabled visitors
• steep slopes that make access difficult for wheelchairs
• hard-to-find services spread out over 20+ buildings
• cramped and dated areas not suitable for delivering modern healthcare

Monika Solorz, Nicola’s Mum, explained: “There’s often nowhere to park near the children’s disability service. Sometimes parents just have to leave their young children in reception while they drive round and round the area. It can be really stressful. If we are lucky enough to find a space in the main Brighton General car park, I have to push Nicola up a steep slope to get to the clinic. It’s hard enough when we are on our own but it’s impossible when I have Nicola’s four-year-old brother with me. If the NHS can redevelop this site it would be amazing, especially for wheelchair users and young children.”

SCFT’s plan to redevelop the site includes building a multi-storey car park right next to a brand new health hub, with lifts for pushchairs, people who use wheelchairs, and those who find walking difficult. The entrance to the hub will have street-level access from the main road, making it easier to get in and out of the building. The hub will also bring local patient services together under one roof, with a separate purpose-built building alongside it for the Sussex Rehabilitation Centre, making it easier for patients to find their clinic and arrive at their appointment on time.

The Outline Business Case for the health hub plan has been approved by the SCFT Board and the Trust’s commissioners, NHS Brighton & Hove Clinical Commissioning Group. The Trust will be seeking approval from its regulator, NHS Improvement, this year. This will give the project team the green light to work up detailed plans and begin planning consultation.

The Trust is working towards completing the new health hub by 2024.

SCFT's Chief Executive, Siobhan Melia, says: “As we start a new year of planning and consultation with our partners and local people, our new #BuildBetterNHS video gives everyone a chance to see how compelling the case for redeveloping the Brighton General is. The new health hub will remove the unacceptable barriers many people face when using the site and will fundamentally change patient and visitor experience for the better.”