Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions about the overall programme

Why has there been a delay to the WeyBetter Weybridge programme?

Following the fire at Weybridge hospital in 2017, work began to review the opportunity for redevelopment, encompassing a wider area than just the health centre. This is a complex piece of work involving multiple public sector organisations and includes the requirement to secure insurance money and further funds to deliver our ambitious plans.

We have taken the time to conduct research on health services required against a backdrop of the services available in the surrounding area. We have spoken to residents to understand what they want to see to make Weybridge a better place to live and work. The last two years have also seen us living through an unprecedented pandemic, which has resulted in other health services being prioritised. The programme was formally reconstituted in the autumn of 2021 and we now believe we are in a better place to move swiftly forward with our plans.

When and how will residents be engaged?

Since September 2021 we have been supported by a Stakeholder Reference Group (local residents, stakeholders and local Councillors) that have an interest in the proposals. This group will help us develop the proposals but also think about how we would further engage with the public, having helped co-design the May 2022 event. These will take the form of different forums, ranging from similar public engagement events to smaller focus groups.

Residents can also be updated on this webpage. We will look to be bringing more detailed designs forward in early 2023 and will involve the wider community in the development of the proposals across the health campus.

When can we expect building for the health campus to start?

Subject to planning permission, it is expected that building would start in Summer 2024. Throughout this phase we will need to be mindful of the need to continue delivering services with minimal disruption to staff, patients and the local community.

When will the new facilities be fully open and operational?

Subject to funding and planning permission, construction of the health campus will be completed by the end of 2025, however a short period of time will be needed after this date to move services into the building from the existing locations including the two Weybridge GP practices.

Which sites are involved and who is involved in each site?

Partners are working together to bring a full package of local improvements to Weybridge residents. NHS will be leading the delivery on the Weybridge Community Hospital Site, Surrey County Council the delivery of the transformed library building, road and infrastructure improvements, and Elmbridge Borough Council the improvements with the plaza and the transfer of the car parking provision to Churchfields Bowling Green.

However, a key benefit of our approach is the ability for one partner to support another so that there is a collective rather than individual approach.

Health services

What health facilities will be provided in the new campus?

Our vision is for a new state-of-the-art community campus that incorporates a modern, purpose-built health facility that is fit for the 21st century and provides a range of high-quality health and wellbeing services for the local community. As part of this vision, we would like to see:

  • Doctors, nurses and therapists working together to provide a one-stop shop for local health services
  • Access to 'on the day' urgent care provided by nurses, GPs and a range of health professionals
  • A large area for primary care services, with more treatment rooms so we can see more patients
  • Ultrasound and advanced blood testing diagnostic services on site
  • Flexible space and room for expansion so we can respond to population growth and meet future needs
  • A range of children's services including a 0 to19 health visiting and school nursing hub, as well as speech and language and other therapy services
  • The latest industry-standard construction materials for improved safety
  • A building that is environmentally friendly and sustainable as we work to reduce our carbon footprint

Our early thinking is based on feedback from the local community and our planning work so far. We know there's a lot more work to do – and we want to hear what you think. We will then be developing more detailed proposals, based on what we have heard from local people and partners.

Where will the hospital site be located?

The current plan is to locate the health campus on the old community hospital site. When considering the wider site a lot of consideration has been focused upon how best the services can be integrated given the needs of the different buildings, however further engineering and planning work will need to be undertaken before this can be confirmed.

What facilities will there be for the treatment of mental illness and for those with dementia?

The NHS plans to deliver mental health services from the health campus once re-opened. Further work is needed to agree the specific conditions, but it will include a broad range of services.

What diagnostic services will be provided, for example: scans, blood tests?

A broad range of diagnostics services will be provided via the community services, women's services and primary care including scans and blood tests.

Will there be space for new technologies in the area of x-ray, scanning and diagnostics to enable faster diagnosis of serious conditions at a local level?

Prior to the fire in 2017, both Weybridge Community Hospital and Walton Hospital provided x-ray. Neither site was able to provide a full service, because of a lack of staff, nor were there sufficient patients requiring x-ray services. The fire has allowed a full service to be provided from Walton, with the staff from Weybridge now supporting Walton as well as significantly increased levels of activity.

Alongside this, the NHS is investing in new technologies (such as ultrasound, CT or MRI) which provide significant benefits over x-ray. An increasing trend has seen patients being asked to undertake an x-ray only for the results not to provide the information required and then being asked to undertake newer types of diagnostics for a diagnosis to be made. Our focus is to invest in these newer forms of technologies as they provide better outcomes for patients. The health campus will retain ultrasound as part of its diagnostics.

Was Weybridge considered as a Community Diagnostic Hub?

The priority for the services on the site was to provide services needed by the community. A Community Diagnostics Hub would have required a significant amount of space, which given the constraints of the site and access would have required reducing the level of community clinical services that would have been provided.

Will there be new services?

The services provided on the health campus will be broadly the same as the services provided prior to the fire, with the exception of mental health services, which will now be included.

What parking space will there be?

It is expected that there will be broadly the same car parking spaces as were available prior to the fire. The rebuild of the health campus will need to comply with Elmbridge Borough Council planning guidance on access and car parking provision.

Will there be electric vehicle charging provision?

Yes. Any car parking provision would need to support both NHS and Elmbridge Borough Council planning guidance that sets out the nature and type of electric vehicle provision that will need to be provided.

Will the walk-in centre or equivalent Urgent Treatment Centre be restored? If not, why not?

Whilst Weybridge Community Hospital included a walk-in centre, guidance to the local NHS system means that this service cannot be re-provided because it does not meet current clinical standards.

Since the fire, St Peter’s Hospital has developed its urgent care services and has created a new Urgent Treatment Centre. This service is designed to support the wider system across Surrey by being able to treat a wider range of conditions and have access to more senior staff.

Weybridge and surrounds does need access to urgent care and the health campus will include an 'on the day' urgent care hub.

As Weybridge's population is set to grow over the next local plan period - will the new health facility allow for expansion beyond current capacity?

Consideration has been given to the growing needs of the health campus as a hub for community services across the locality, beyond Weybridge. There is a need for additional space for primary care and this has been factored into the design. There is also a need to make better use of the space.

It is expected that services will be delivered across longer opening hours, seven days a week to meet this demand.

Is the health campus just for Weybridge residents or for a much wider area?

The health campus is for the wider population needing primary care and community services across the locality in North West Surrey.

Will the GP practices move out of the portacabins into the new hospital building and have sufficient rooms to provide more services to their patients?

Once the health campus has been built, there will need to be a short period of time in which the GPs are moved out of their portacabins and the public realm is reinstated. NHS England sets out the space provision for GP practices depending upon their size. It is the decision of the GP practices to organise the usage of their space how they see fit.

Can you confirm the number of parking spaces for patients and importantly ambulances and community transport compared with previously?

The current intent of the proposals is to provide broadly the same number of car parking spaces as were available prior to the fire. However, given the challenge of climate change and the changes in planning policy since the community hospital was built in the 1990s, priority will need to be environmentally friendly forms of transport including cycling, buses and electric vehicles.

The partnership approach allows the NHS to work with Surrey County Council on the transport approach within the centre of Weybridge. It is also important that the health campus does not materially impact the surrounding public parking.

Will residential developers using the old hospital site for housing purposes?

The current plan by the NHS is not to sell to any commercial developers. However, if the full extent of the current hospital site is not needed the NHS may seek to explore how the land could be used for key workers or similar. This position is subject to planning permission and the funding agreement.

Why is the rebuild of the health campus being combined with the regeneration of the town centre?

The fire at the hospital site created a unique opportunity to make significant improvements to the public services and space available in the town. By working together in partnership, we will be able to provide services that better meet the needs of Weybridge residents, both now and into the future.

That said, as we recognise that the health centre is the priority, different partners will be leading on different elements of the programme to deliver the services as soon as possible.