Northwood & Pinner Cottage Hospital - Message from Nick Hurd
I drive past the Northwood and Pinner Cottage Hospital a lot on my way round the constituency. For the last few years, I have found it a depressing sight. A building with a proud history appeared to have no future. A hospital that was built by the community, and handed over to the NHS with pride, appeared to be abandoned and unloved. A First World War memorial was not being shown the respect it deserved. It had become a car park for ambulances.
The local NHS declared it surplus to requirements and so it was put up for sale. It was clear to me that if we did nothing, then Northwood Hills would just get another set of overpriced flats. Yes we had promises that the site would be used for community health, but the people who made those promises had long gone. So we had to act. I am very grateful to your Chair, Andrew Riley, and others who have worked with me to remind the NHS of past promises and put in their mind an opportunity to redevelop the site in a way that delivers for everyone. Gradually we have moved them off a position of just wanting to raise the maximum amount of cash from the site. Now the conversation is around upgrading the Northwood Health Centre and putting it into the main building. Some of the wider site will need to be redeveloped for residential, and my hope is that will contain some sheltered, extra care accommodation that we will need in the area. In a very welcome about turn, the local NHS is now talking about the Cottage Hospital as being their first choice for a "hub" of primary care services in the North of the Borough, designed to offer better care in the community and reduce the need to go to Hospital. This is all happening in “NHS Time" i.e. not as fast as any of us would like. I suspect that we won't see the end product before 2022. However I think it represents a victory for our argument that the NHS should not just respect the past, but think about the future in a way that puts long term community value over short term cash gain.
It would also represent another success for the Residents Association and local campaigners: proof that we don't have to just accept what we are given. Whether it be securing funds to upgrade Joel Street or campaigning to keep health facilities, the Residents Association continues to demonstrate what is possible when residents work together on behalf of their community. As ever, I am very grateful for the support.
Nick Hurd MP - Minister of State at the Home Office
Take a look at Andrew Riley's speech on this subject