Shaw and Crompton health centre plans put on hold only four months after being approved

Plans for a new health centre have been abruptly shelved just four months after being approved, it was announced last week.

A new health centre for Shaw and Crompton has been postponed by the Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) who cited the cost of living rises, the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine as factors that meant the plans were now unaffordable.

The new health centre was approved last November by Oldham CCG and the project had a site ready, a developer commissioned, plans developed and funding allocated before the plug was abruptly pulled on Thursday last week.

Howard Sykes, Shaw councillor and Liberal Democrat Group Leader, said: “This is a massive kick in the teeth and a great disappointment to our local community and those who use and work in the current Health Centre.

“All six councillors will continue, as we have for many years, to campaign for its replacement and to hold those responsible for our local health services to account and make sure they deliver what the Shaw and Crompton community needs and rightly expects.”

The new centre was intended to improve the quality of facilities available to local residents, with councillors stating that the current centre isn’t fit for purpose and much better facilities have been developed in neighbouring areas.

In a letter the Oldham CCG said that rising prices because of inflation and the impacts of COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine had caused an increase in revenue costs in excess of £50,000, making the proposal unaffordable.

Oldham CCG said that they remain committed to securing an improved health centre for Shaw and that the plans for a new health centre were not cancelled, but merely delayed until a more cost-effective option could be found.

Louise Letman, Communications Manager of Oldham CCG, told MM: “We’re working with the partners, both at the practice and others, to look at new options.

“Circumstances have changed quite quickly, with inflation and in Eastern Europe. The health centre has just been put on hold to make sure that what is put in place is viable and cost-effective.”

A definite date for when new plans for the health centre would be proposed or approved could not be given, and the original final deadline of March 2023 outlined in the plans of November last year for the centre’s completion is no longer guaranteed.

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