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,

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.
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tutor said...

Having seen the issue of dementia in the elderly aired in the national television news I seem to recall that Goole hospital closed a ward that provided care for the elderly.
This suggests that "spare space" on the site is something very contentious. Additionally there is an issue of noise to consider. Patient recovery is unlikely to be aided by the noise associated with school outdoor activities. Ok, secondary schools are not as likely to produce the same cacaphony of sound as infant and primary at playtime but they are by no means silent.
We need to see better usage of the hospital for medical purposes not as a "cheap" (hardly) alternative to proper school provision or a wish for "modern" school buildings which seem to develop sub standard construction problems in only a few years whilst the older buildings live on.
The proposal starts out at first sight as a good idea but it collapses under scrutiny!

Paul Robinson said...

Thanks for yoiur points Tutor - Under closer scrutiny I think you’ll find it is the College that is going to be moving to the hospital (not a school) – so not too many noisy outdoor activities at break time.

If the building is surplus to NHS requirements then surely it is better to bring this into use rather than leave it empty. Remember the College offers both vocational and non-vocational training and specific courses tailored to local business needs – hopefully this can include providing bespoke teaching for the NHS.

Would it not be great if Goole College was to be able to provide training to the wider NHS on this site? Imagine how the College could benefit from the increased revenue generated if this was to happen – just think how this could be reinvested to provide even better educational provision for out sixteen plus young people.

As you have demonstrated people will find many reasons for this not to happen, some will be based on fact, some not, some out of fear and some out of traditionalism. For me this is an opportunity for Goole and the wider area to improve its post 16 educational provision in a very innovative and exciting way… and as with most things the cup is certainly half full with me on this!

tutor said...

IF the site is used for NHS training that's one thing but it is by no means assured this will be the case.
In the last few years we have seen a serious contraction of the old modern school site and houses built on that land. The space efficient tower block at the grammar school demolished and low rise buildings to replace it. Now we drive by on airmyn road and see the grammar school tennis courts used as a car park. The once immaculate frontage of the building with manicured gardens is a disgrace.
It seems what the people of Goole really need is a management with foresight and pride in it's secondary education establishments.
The use of arguments about education needing more room as justification to take over healthcare facilities seems morally wrong with a capital W

Anonymous said...

how many students arev there likely to be?