FUNDING has been granted for a study to look at improving Evesham Community Hospital, either by moving to a new site or developing the current hospital.

As part of the national One Public Estate programme, £90,000 has been secured for a feasibility study which will look at either enhancing the current Waterside site, or for a new hospital to be built nearby.

Sarah Dugan, chief executive at Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust said at a public meeting last year that the hospital would no longer be fit for purpose in 30 years time due to the age of the building.

Mrs Dugan said: “The trust has long-recognised that the environment at Evesham Community Hospital isn’t ideal and so this funding will allow us to assess what the most viable and cost effective options are.

"The hospital is valued by the trust and the local community and while there may be changes to the types of services it provides in the future, this announcement is further evidence of our commitment to providing well-utilised local services Evesham.”

The study, which is funded by a partnership between the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Cabinet Office Government Property Unit (GPU), is likely to take at least a year to complete.

Frances Smith, chairman of the Evesham Community Hospital League of Friends said: “This is really great news for Evesham – the current community hospital is a jewel in Evesham’s crown so this review of options to improve the environment at the hospital is a very positive move forward in the health and care trust’s commitment to continue providing important services within the local health care system.

"Although the present buildings are not ideal, the care which the staff provide is excellent, so any moves to improve facilities can only be to the good of the community.”

Earlier this year, Worcestershire was successful in securing more than £1m in government funding to progress a number of projects across the county, and as such was one of the highest awarded local authorities on a national level.