THE FUTURE of community hospitals in Thornbury and Frenchay have supported by NHS bosses with controversial housing proposals being put on hold.

Plan to redevelop a “surplus” area of the former Frenchay Hospital site were announced to South Gloucestershire councillors last month by landowners North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT), with a speculative planning application submitted by developers Redrow Homes.

Concerns were subsequently raised that Thornbury’s site could face similar treatment, with plans having recently been “terminated” with the process effectively going back to the drawing board for a full appraisal of options.

Shocked councillors slammed the fact that talks had been carried out in secret, with South Gloucestershire MPs Luke Hall, Jack Lopresti and Chris Skidmore joining calls for NBT to block the plans.

North Bristol NHS Trust have now agreed that there will be no future land sales until a much awaited assessment of community needs is published by the Bristol North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), who are leading plans for the health and social care centre.

Responding to a letter from the three MPs, Andrea Young, CEO of North Bristol NHS Trust said: “I would like to reassure you that NBT remains committed to supporting our partners to deliver additional out-of-acute-hospital services for the South Gloucestershire population and we will continue to support the CCG to achieve this.

“We have not changed our position which is to make available land at Frenchay and Thornbury to support health and social care centres”

The MPs said: “We are glad to see North Bristol NHS Trust renew their support for health and social care centres at Frenchay and Thornbury.

“We welcome the statement in writing that the trust will not sell any land until the CCG has presented its options, however we again reiterate that we feel that the services must come first, be up and running, and delivered before we consider what to do with any potential surplus land.

South Gloucestershire Council’s cabinet member for health, Cllr Marian Lewis said: “I am delighted that alongside councillors our MPs have been successful in halting the trusts intention to sell of the land.

“Working together we can now continue to press the CCG and the trust to redouble their efforts to deliver these promised facilities for residents

“It is vital that the land in Frenchay is used for a community hospital and we will work to ensure that the NHS Trust delivers on their promises to stop seeking planning applications for the site.”