The Red House



Red House Development Action Plan agreed

Dec 9th

At a meeting of the Red House Forum David Law and Mark Carman provided an update of the progress of the redevelopment planned for Harpenden Memorial Hospital as a ‘Health and Wellness Campus’

The Herts NHS Community Trust Board has approved the outline business case and given it strong backing. £50,000 has been earmarked for expenditure during the rest of this financial year and approx. £0.5m is likely to be included in the 2014/2015 budget for further development comprising:

1. A detailed business case will now be created to include;

2. Legal scrutiny of the title in regard to site and discovery of any restrictions and covenants

3. A complete Site Survey

A design specification with an outline architectural model of the proposed 'campus' (This will involve working closely with Herts CC and others to achieve a 'mixed economy' of care beds, respite beds, nursing home beds etc)

5. A financial model to procure the development, incorporating the likely inclusion of a health charity/private partner which will ensure financial viability for HCT.

The detailed business case will be presented to the NHS Trust Development Authority.

Contact has already been made with its 'Gateway Panel', an advisory and monitoring body designed to assist applicants to negotiate the Authority's necessarily complex schedule.

Concurrently, a vital exercise will be developed on the service delivery front, involving Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group and other likely contributors to scope out the overall pattern of services that will be offered at the Health and Well-being Campus. In this connection, the importance of links with the Luton and Dunstable Hospital as well as the West Herts Hospital was urged and accepted.

The time-table:

Feb/ March 2014. Architects and Surveyors plans.

March/April 2014.Financial Consulting. Best option for delivery of the scheme.

Aug 2014. Apply to NHS Trust Authority for approval.

Feb. 2015.Tender Process.

Feb. 2015. Appoint Development Partner

Feb 2016. Detailed site planning

March 2016. Commence Build

Sept. 2017. Handover

Mark Carman who is being retained will be looking at estate provision across the county. He described the plan as 'a game-changer' and both he and David Law indicated that others were really interested in the model and that locations – for instance in Stevenage, Hemel Hempstead and Borehamwood – might be having genetically modified versions of what David Law calls the Harpenden 'guinea pig'.

Good News on Harpenden’s Red House

“I’m confident that we have a clear way forward to give a modern facility for the community”

David Law, chief executive of Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust, at a packed public meeting of The Harpenden Society on February 25 outlined the latest news:

Photo: From L2R.

David Law, County Cllr Teresa Heritage & Eric Midwinter, The Harpenden Society

The HCT Board has approved the Strategic Outline Case for the development of The Red House into a Harpenden Health and Wellbeing centre which will help to

build an even more healthy community.

What new services are planned for Adults?

Bladder and Bowel Care

Diabetes Service

Heart Failure Service

Leg Ulcer Service

Parkinson’s Specialist Nurse Service

Podiatry Service

Retinal Screening Service

What new services are planned for Children?

Health Visiting Service (Baby Clinics and Post Natal Clinics)

Speech and Language Therapy

Existing Services

Continue with arrangements in place with local hospitals for blood clinics, ophthalmology and plastic surgery clinics

Other facilities

Health information points

A multi purpose group space for eg: yoga, pilates, baby clinics and weight management sessions.

Parking for staff and visitors.

Whilst this sounds like very good news there are two “BUTS’

The Trust must deliver the need for ‘best value’

The Sec of State for Health (Jeremy Hunt) has the right to take up to half of any surplus to help with national NHS funds. -(The NHS own the site)

What does this mean?

The new centre will take half of the land space, so the remaining half will be offered to other health service providers and generate a regular income. The HCNT have advised that there are a number of restrictive covenants relating to the site, one of these says that buildings under a certain value are not permitted. This clearly is a restriction which dates back many years and therefore they cannot predict the impact of this.


OK of Outline Business Case by HCT Board June 2016

OK of OBC by NHS Improvement Aug 2016

Appointment of preferred bidder April 2017

Development of Full Business Case June 2017

OK of FBC by HCT Board July 2017

OK of FBC by NHS Improvement Sept 2017

Construction starts March 2018

Construction completed March 2019

Official opening April 2019



Oct 14. 2017 What’s happening following the public exhibition ?

The concepts shown in the Red House were the first sight of the proposed new development of the whole site prior to the official planning application.

Various options have been proposed. Clarification has been requested from the Project Group.

April 19 2018. Harpenden Health and Wellbeing Centre ‘ready for use’ by late 2020, says project team.

An audience of over 150 of the town’s residents, at a meeting convened by The Harpenden Society in conjunction with Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust at Rothamsted Research’s Fowden Hall on April 19, heard that the new Health and Wellbeing Centre could be ‘ready for use’ in late 2020. A planning application for the new centre and an adjacent housing development is on track to be submitted to St Albans District Council in a few weeks.

Harpenden’s Town Clerk Carl Cheevers opened the session with a resume of ‘The Neighbourhood Plan’ and the importance of providing improved social services for Harpenden’s growing population. He said “To me it was a great success and a step forward in building community support for what could be a wonderful local facility.”

The NHS Trust team took to the lectern.

Marion Dunstone, Director of Operations for Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust gave a strategic overview of the situation and explained how all the parties involved had taken the development forward to its present state. Ed Knowles from the Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group – the NHS body which buys healthcare services for the local area – also gave background information on likely future demands for health services and how the new centre would form part of the response to these demands. Marion said “We are really excited by the prospect of bringing a new healthcare facility to Harpenden. Our proposals would provide a range of healthcare services in a building which is fit for the 21st century. Thanks to support from The Harpenden Society, the Red House Forum and colleagues at town, district and county councils and within the local NHS, we are now in a strong position to make our scheme a reality. We look forward to continuing to work with local groups and the community as our plans progress.”

Finally Diane Brent the assistant director of facilities talked through the practical issues around creating the new centre and what it would provide:

¥Redeveloping the whole of the existing Harpenden Memorial Hospital site to create a new health and wellbeing centre in the existing Stewarts building, funded by the sale of the remainder of the site for a new housing development.  Subject to planning permission, the housing development would include affordable homes and would see the Red House building converted into apartmentsWorking with local NHS hospitals to provide a range of desirable services like Diabetes, Leg Ulcer, Bladder and Bowel service for adults; Blood tests; Speech and Language Therapy service for children.

¥Offering local volunteer groups the option of using the new centre in the evenings and weekends.

¥Protecting the ecology of the site to maintain its natural ‘green’ features.

A very lively audience Q & A concluded the evening with dozens of questions many of which were answered by Russ Charlesworth the Estates Project Advisor.

Above: An artist’s impression of the new centre.

Below: Marion Dunstone, Director of Operations

Lynda Edwards, Clinical Lead for School Nursing

Tess Gartside, Team Lead for Health Visiting

Carl Cheevers, Harpenden Town Clerk

Diane Brent, Associate Director of Estates and Facilities

Phil Waters. Harpenden Society chair

Right at the back with blonde hair – Laura Catterall, Locality Manager (Adult Services) for St Albans and Harpenden

Nikki Sharkey, Locality Manager (Children’s Services) for St Albans and Harpenden

Jeff Philips, Non-Executive Director

Above: Nikki Sharkey (left) with Ruth Bradford. Goody bags included information about becoming a member of HCT.

Below:Marion Dunstone, (left) Director of Operations being interviewed on Nickey Radio

Above.Talking to NHS staff about the new Centre.

Below: Phil Waters (left) harpenden society chair talking about the success of the evening.