Members of the Melksham Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group have met with senior officers from Wiltshire’s Clinical Commissioning Group and local GPs to discuss the future potential for providing healthcare services to meet the needs of the rapidly growing population of Melksham and its surrounding villages.
The wide-ranging discussion covered provision of health services in Melksham; the possibility of health facilities at the proposed Campus site; future plans for the Melksham Community Hospital site; and opportunities to explore alternative sites for healthcare service provision in the Melksham area.
It was recognised that future health service planning must take place locally against a background of extremely challenging financial and workforce pressures and limitations of the inherited estate, and must be determined by what local GPs and clinicians deem to be necessary for Melksham people and our locality, with the focus on accessible primary care services.
Hundreds of new houses are proposed for the Melksham area in applications currently in the pipeline or going to appeal. The discussion focused on getting a better understanding of any land use implications of these future healthcare service requirements for inclusion in recommendations in the Melksham Neighbourhood Plan.
The discussion concluded that a long term strategic vision is needed of what health services must be provided to meet the requirements of the rapidly growing population over the next ten years.
The Melksham Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group will receive a report at its 24th February meeting from the Housing Task Group on their assessment of the many possible Melksham area sites identified in Wiltshire Council’s Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) document. These would result in hundreds of new houses being built in the Melksham area over the next ten years.
New houses mean more pressure on local public services – including health. So the Health and Wellbeing Task Group is now looking at sites that might be suitable for health related purposes, and expect to report to a future Steering Group meeting in the near future. It is very important that the local community has a voice about what is health care services are needed.
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