Sector - Health

£19M for regeneration of Bridgwater Hospital

Almost £20M from the Levelling Up Fund will give the former Bridgwater Hospital a new lease of life.

The old hospital will be redeveloped into a new facility for developing the skills of the care sector workforce in Somerset. The building will be remodelled to provide high-tech training spaces and meeting rooms. Although the front of the building will be preserved, a new two-storey structure will connect to the back, offering facilities such as:

  • health and care training rooms
  • specialist simulation training
  • an independent living centre, with occupational therapists supporting residents
  • an NHS learning resource centre

The former Hospital Lodge will also be turned into a children’s nursery to help people balance training with childcare responsibilities.

Cllr Ros Wyke, Executive Lead Member for Economic Development, Planning and Assets at Somerset Council, said: “This visionary training facility transcends more than regeneration; this investment is about a positive future and stands poised to become a beacon in health and social care training. Forging a path for cost effective training solutions, growing, and nurturing a skilled workforce. It aspires to be the cornerstone advancement of health and care in Somerset and a leader in this area.”

A new academy will be set up in Minehead, along with an Independent Living Centre. It will have learning facilities such as; training rooms and flexible co-working space, and specialist simulation and VR training facilities.

The new academy will be a cornerstone of the new Somerset Integrated Care System.

The new facilities will help deliver new qualifications in health and social care, including degrees, adding new people into the health and social care workforce.

Jonathan Higman, Chief Executive of NHS Somerset, said: “Our NHS health and care workforce in Somerset will need to look different in the future if we are to continue to support people to live healthier lives for longer and also meet the health and care needs of our aging population. The Training Academy represents an exciting development and will be a fantastic resource for the wider health and care system in Somerset, enabling us to train, develop and retain local people who want to work and volunteer in health and care in Somerset.”

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Image: DKA