Monday, March 19, 2012
Goole College & Hospital to share site
I recently attended a really positive meeting of the Goole College Consultative Forum along with Andrew Percy MP, local ward members, representatives of local business/employers, College staff and others. The topic was the proposed partnership between Hull College and Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which could see the College open a campus in underused parts of the Goole and District Hospital site, and eventually relocate completely.
The partnership could see the utilisation of unused areas of the Goole Hospital site as a base for Goole College, (part of the Hull College Group). This exciting development would enable the College to develop a new range of education and training programmes to complement the existing offer available. The partnership would also help Goole Hospital maximise the use of their estate for the best public value.
The potential development - which still requires the formal support of the Board of the hospital Trust and the College - will be consulted upon with staff, users and local residents over the coming months, and the Consultative Forum was just the first opportunity.
The proposals include the development of provision in two phases; the first beginning this September 2012, which would see an increase in courses in health and social care, employability skills and higher level professional qualifications. The second phase, in September 2013 would see the College moving out of its existing buildings on Boothferry Road and transferring all provision to the Goole Hospital site. This would enhance growth in both further and higher education provision. This two-phase approach is designed to provide the opportunity for community feedback and partnership development to be fully considered.
It is important to recognise this is NOT about closing hospital wards, NOT about cutting services and NOT about reducing the courses offered by the College. It is about fully developing underused and under-utilised areas of the hospital estate.
There will be no impact on bed numbers as a result of any agreement that is reached between the partners. It is planned that any development will be self-contained, with separate entrances and exits between the hospital and the college areas.
The proposed partnership potentially provides a wealth of opportunities for young people and adults within Goole and surrounding areas. The planned Goole College offer will include a ‘ladder of progression’ from level one to higher education degree courses. The College will also be able to offer a number of shorter courses in response to community need.
Health and social care students would be able to gain access to the expertise and knowledge of professional medical staff, whilst developing skills through work experience within a specialist hospital environment.
Depending upon the outcome of the consultation Goole College would work closely with partners to consider the best potential outcome for the current site to meet local community need. Official consultation on the plans will open shortly for individual response on the Goole College website – see http://www.goole-college,co.uk./
I certainly welcome the idea of collaborative working between Goole College and the Hospital, if there is an underused modern building available at the hospital site with scope and space for significant further development, it would be economically beneficial and savings could certainly be made if the College was to relocate from its present old building with its high running and maintenance costs.
The improvement of the learning facilities in an attractive environment, and to increase the courses provided in health and social care can only be a positive, not only for Goole but the wider area, including Howdenshire. The positive response from the business representatives and employers at the Forum meeting was reassurring, as they recognised it would mean courses more reflective of their training needs, thus ensuring that students have the necessary skills to respond to employers and also take advantage of the new and exciting prospects coming to our region.
The teaching element offered by the College could certainly benefit the hospital and the patients through direct links with its courses including catering, hair dressing, preparation for child care, and maintenance studies.
I would certainly hope to see the College providing bespoke teaching and training, and it may be that a training ward could be established to benefit the wider area. I would urge the College and the NHS to be radical in their thinking as to how by working together in partnership, just with each other but with other public service organisations too, they can create a great example of how to save costs and collectively deliver the same or better for less.
I just hope that traditionalism in Goole doesn’t get in the way of this exciting opportunity for the Town and the surrounding area. This is a chance for Goole and Howdenshire to state absolutley that it's open for business!
Andrew Percy MP says, "I’ve previously discussed the plans with the Hull College Group and the Hospital Trust.
The partnership would be the first in the country and has the potential to be incredibly positive for Goole’s young people. It would also see an extension of further and higher education courses in the town.
Clearly, there is more to be worked out in the finer details and there will be snags along the way but this is a really exciting development. see more at http://www.andrewpercy.org/