Edward Hain Hospital

At their latest meeting, members of the Edward Hain group were shown a set of plans that showed one possible use for the hospital site which looked at the potential for a new build to the rear of the existing building.

Set up in 2017 by West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas and Cornwall councillor, Richard Robinson, the group, which includes West Cornwall health professionals, St Ives Mayor Suzanne Tanner and a number of Friends of Edward Hain Hospital as well as Phil Confue and Jackie Pendleton, CEO of the NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group (KCCG) and the lead officer of the Shaping Our Future primary and community services work, is looking at possible options for the site to make sure people can get the care they need.

Ryder Architecture was commissioned by Phil Confue, chief executive of the Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust (CFT), to produce a feasibility study for a possible future use of the hospital.

One option was presented, outlined by architect Mark Carter, which suggested the shell of the existing building could be converted into key workers accommodation with a new build at the rear, housing outpatient treatment and consulting rooms.

To ensure that the full spectrum of possible uses are considered, separate plans for community beds in any reconfiguration are being worked up by Ryder in time for the group's next meeting in July.

Mr Carter said that if the three-storey out-patients building was taken forward it could offer more than 700 sq metres of space and would cost around £2.5 million to build.

"We are clearly making progress towards the goal of re-opening Edward Hain as a healthcare facility fit for the 21st century," said Cllr Robinson, the local ward member who chairs the group meetings.

"It was very encouraging to have sight of these initial ideas and I'm looking forward to seeing the plans Mr Carter is now drawing up for community bed provision at Edward Hain when we meet again.

"Health professionals in the area are pretty sure that there is a need for community beds in West Cornwall but a definitive case for this has yet to be made as part of Shaping Our Future.

"Nevertheless we need to keep an open mind on how best to use this hospital as new ways of working to ensure people are treated as close as possible to home are introduced.

"With the difficulties that health care workers have in finding suitable accommodation in St Ives, turning the site into a dual-use facility is definitely an idea worth exploring but whatever ideas emerge over the next few months, nothing will go ahead without full consultation with the local community."

Jackie Pendleton added “We will continue to consider what are the right services and facilities we need, and where these should be located for the whole of west Cornwall and Penwith.

“We will continue to work with the community on our plans before a firm proposals are pulled together.”