Wiltshire Publications

Issue 507 – Ownership of hospital continues to be questioned

THE fate of Westbury Hospital is under increased scrutiny, with residents, local solicitors, a local MP, and the NHS investigating the ownership of the site.
Ever since the announcement in 2010 that a site for the town’s new health centre had been found in Leigh Park, questions have been raised about what will happen to the hospital.

With the hospital due to be sold off once the new health centre is complete, local residents have raised the question of who will benefit from the sale. Some residents believe that the land was gifted to the town before the NHS was even created, and therefore remains under the town’s ownership.
Local resident, Eddie Bridges, approached South West Wiltshire MP Andrew Murrison, who recently obtained a copy of the deeds. Eddie has since taken the deeds to local solicitors Pinniger, Finch & Co.
Eddie suggests that selling a site which was made a gift to the town could firstly require a referendum of the townspeople to agree to sell. Furthermore, he says that such an action would require the proceeds to be given back to Westbury through the town council.
NHS Wiltshire is also looking into the legal ownership of the land and facilties.
All the services currently provided at Westbury Hospital and Eastleigh Surgery will remain in place until the new health centre is ready. NHS Wiltshire say they will report any contract for the sale or lease of Westbury Hospital site as a matter of public record in the usual way, which is through the Register of Sealings in its public board meetings. Residents have been told that once the site has been vacated, the money saved will be reinvested into NHS services.
Eastleigh Surgery has already been put on the market, with the surgery reporting that there has been some interest in the property.