High quality homes for Frimley Park staff
A new housing scheme near Frimley Park Hospital is providing essential accommodation for up to 86 hospital staff without straining NHS finances.
Frimley Health sold off the site of the former Frimley Children’s Centre in 2015 to Thames Valley Housing Association (TVH) with planning permission for keyworker accommodation, 12 houses and 26 private flats.
The development included the conversion of the original Frimley Cottage Hospital building in Church Road into high quality apartments, retaining the historic frontage on one of the main roads into Frimley High Street.
The scheme has allowed the hospital trust to replace its ageing 1970s onsite accommodation with new accommodation on its doorstep at zero net cost to the taxpayer.
The old accommodation, most of which sits behind the main Frimley Park Hospital building, was of poor quality and expensive to maintain in contract to the new one-bedroom flats and four-bedroom shared units at the housing development which have been renamed ‘Woodbridge, Frimley’.
The old Frimley Cottage Hospital site had become run down in recent years and was no longer suitable for the healthcare services it provided. Children’s outpatients have now been incorporated alongside other paediatric services at the main Frimley Park Hospital site five minutes’ walk away.
Janet King, director of HR and corporate services, said: “Good accommodation for our doctors, nurses and other essential staff is so critical to what we can offer as an employer. Recruiting and retaining good staff in the NHS has become so competitive and high quality housing for staff at critical stages in their career can make a huge difference.
“We desperately needed to replace our onsite accommodation as it was not economical to repair. In Thames Valley Housing we found a partner we could work with to offer our staff fantastic standard of accommodation without having to use NHS funds. That means we can make more investment directly into patient services.”
Representatives from Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, Thames Valley Housing Association and developer Bugler Homes were at the Woodbridge development last week to celebrate the completion of the project.
The met Frimley Park clinical coder Jason Chitty, who said: “Our new home has given my partner and I the opportunity to live together before we go on to buy a place of our own. The flat is of exceptional quality and we are very happy here – the next place will have a lot to live up to!”
Geeta Nanda, Chief Executive of Thames Valley Housing, said: “I’m delighted that we have been able to work closely in partnership with Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, Bugler and Surrey Heath Borough Council to provide much needed keyworker rented accommodation for those working at Frimley Park Hospital, as well as brand new homes for sale for local people.
"I hope that all of our residents there have now settled in and are enjoying life in their new homes."