FINANCE: Plans for a new £13m community hospital have been shelved due to the “changing financial circumstances” of the NHS, it has been announced.

Following a joint review of plans for a new-build to replace Clevedon Cottage Hospital, NHS North Somerset and NHS South of England concluded the plans were “unaffordable” in the current economic circumstances.

Plans for a new hospital have been in the pipeline for more than two years and the primary care trust had won planning permission to build houses on the existing site to increase the sale value of the land. However, in a statement released yesterday the PCT said it had decided not to ask the strategic health authority to consider the business case.

David Tappin, director of strategic development for the Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset primary care cluster said: “The changing financial circumstances in healthcare means that the current proposals for the new Clevedon community hospital are unaffordable. In this context we need to reconsider the options for providing the high quality, sustainable care North Somerset residents need and deserve within the resources available.”

The North Somerset health economy also needs to address the financial unsustainability of the acute trust Weston Area Health Trust. Plans for a North Somerset integrated care organisation are currently in development, led by Weston chief executive Peter Colclough. The trust declared itself unviable in its current form last year and is working with the community provider North Somerset Community Partnership, a social enterprise, and North Somerset Council.

Plans are currently with NHS South of England for approval.