Bonnybridge Hospital’s future uncertain
Questions have been raised about the future development of a former community hospital.
Bonnybridge Hospital closed its doors earlier this month after its remaining patient services were switched to Falkirk.
The large facility in Falkirk Road now lies empty whilst NHS bosses decide whether or not to sell it to potential developers.
However a local councillor has proposed that Bonnybridge’s existing health centre should now be relocated to the former hospital.
Councillor William Buchanan said that he first contacted NHS Forth Valley two years ago with his proposal.
He added: “The existing health centre in Larbert Road is no longer fit for purpose. It has serious issues, such as a lack of parking, as the community has grown so much in recent years.
“This would be an ideal solution. It could incorporate a dentist, optician and childcare to ensure its capacity, as the NHS has stated that the building is too big for just a health centre.
“The possibility of this facility being closed, boarded up and put on the open market is a nonsense. It’s imperative that it’s retained as a community facility.
“I’m hopeful with council input that the right thing will be done for the community.
A spokeswoman for NHS Forth Valley confirmed to The Falkirk Herald that discussions were under way with Falkirk Council to see if there was an opportunity to use the site for alternative community uses.
She said: “This may offer the potential for a joint development which could include the relocation of other services such as Bonnybridge Health Centre.
“The sheer size and scale of the site means it is not economically viable for the health centre to relocate there on its own.
“If no viable alternative uses for the site can be found then the property will be secured and disposed of on the open market.”
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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