Welcome to your local community website...
Northwood and Pinner Cottage Hospital to remain closed for further four years
A HOSPITAL in Northwood Hills earmarked for redevelopment will remain empty for a further four years at least, health bosses have announced.
Northwood and Pinner Cottage Hospital, a First and Second World War memorial opened in 1924, was shut in 2008 due to the facilities being in 'very poor condition' and requiring 'substantial maintenance work', which debt-ridden Hillingdon Primary Care Trust (PCT), responsible for the site, was unable to afford.
In the meantime, patients in need of treatment including palliative, respite and rehabilitation care, as well as out-patient and podiatry services, have been forced to travel to Mount Vernon Hospital in Rickmansworth Road, Northwood.
Speaking at the Northwood Hills Residents' Association (NHRA) AGM on Wednesday (16), Kevin Mullins, an executive director for the PCT, admitted the hospital services were 'no longer fit for purpose', and that it may be more cost effective to demolish the building.
Mr Mullins said: "All the services are worn out and terrible condition.
"The building is affected by asbestos and there are also problems with the toilets, which are very small and not up to standard, plus the site is difficult to access for wheelchair users.
"There is an overall programme of improvements for Hillingdon, but starting in the south of the borough in the areas most in need of better health facilities, and working north.
"Areas such as Northwood Hills will be targeted about four years from now."
Although the PCT - which is currently paying back a historic ÃÂ£53million debt, the highest recorded in NHS history - hopes to be in the black from next year, a spokesperson admitted it has no idea how much cash it will receive from the Department of Health to fund the hospital redevelopment.
A PCT spokesperson said: "In the current economic climate, we don't know what our capital allowance will be.
"If we get funding, we are considering demolition of the current building to enable us to build a new hospital that meets all of our patients' needs.
"But no money has been allocated for this as yet."
Chairman of the NHRA, Andrew Riley, predicted it could be a further seven years before the hospital opens:
"We are obviously disappointed that it may be a further four years until funding is available to redevelop the site.
"Nothing is likely to happen until 2014/15, which realistically means a new building will not be ready for occupation until 2017."
Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner MP, Nick Hurd, added: "We were promised by the PCT that this much loved building would be retained as both a war memorial and a community health facility.
"I intend to hold them to that promise."
What do you think? Email Gazette reporter Siba Matti at email@example.com or post a comment below.
We'd like to hear from you. Send your stories, pics and videos