Here are some questions raised at our public and staff consultation sessions, together with the answers. Please get in touch with us if you would like to ask a question not covered here or share your views.
Q: Will HGV traffic to the proposed commercial areas on the redeveloped campus be directed away from Dobbinetts Lane which is already congested?
A: The focus for the proposed commercial areas will be the medical research and innovation sector in office and laboratory space, so we don’t anticipate a major increase in HGV traffic needing to regularly access these areas.
The plans include improved road access within the hospital site itself, with a focus on Southmoor Road access route. During construction we will agree an access plan with contractors to minimise the impact on local residents.
We’re very aware of the road network limitation. The masterplan does provide an opportunity to upgrade both the road structure and public transport links.
In the first phase of the redevelopment, we will build a multi-storey car park so that surface car parks can be freed up. This will also improve traffic flow and patient/visitor access.
Q: Has there been competition for the tender?
A: Yes the work undertaken to develop the masterplan was subject to competitive tender.
Q: Will there be a reduction of beds or an increase in beds so that if there is another health crisis wards can be opened to meet the need?
A: The proposals are based on maintenance of the same number of beds. Significant improvements in the flexibility of the space should enable us to better respond to changing demands in the future.
Q: I hope that the multi-storey car park is better than the one at the MRI. Will there be disabled access car parks near each building?
A: The proposed first phase multi-storey car park and any future car parks will provide disabled access spaces.
Q: Why have Trafford residents on Dobbinetts Lane and Brooks Drive not been informed or received the mailings, and those in Timperley?
A: More than a thousand leaflets have been distributed and we have used local media and our website to ensure that we are maximising awareness.
Q: Is this commercial development as well as Medipark? Going up to Fairywell Brook?
A: The area of the former Medipark proposals now forms part of the masterplan.
Q: The question of building materials is important as well as design. Design for the long-term must be energy efficient but what steps are you taking to ensure materials also minimise carbon use?
A: Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) and Manchester City Council (MCC) are absolutely committed to achieving zero carbon by 2030. We’re currently in the transition period and working out how we can be environmentally friendly and as low carbon as possible. This includes being low carbon when all the new hospital facilities are fully operational and also during the construction process and through the materials chosen for the buildings and wider Wythenshawe campus environment.
Many health organisations in the UK and across the world are looking to develop a road map for delivering zero carbon clinical facilities. MFT and its partners are at the forefront of this process. The Trust has developed the Sustainable Development Management Plan (SDMP) which sets out the vision in more detail and is available on the MFT website at https://mft.nhs.uk/the-trust/reports-and-publications/
Q: Looking at the use of land in the SRF, eating into the green belt doesn’t look necessary – what are the alternative designs?
A: The SRF includes a very small section of land on the edge of the Wythenshawe Hospital site which is green belt. To include this land within the redevelopment of the site, we would go through a formal proposal and consultation process to ensure all views are heard.
Our main focus is on reusing areas within the current site and making better use of the land, for example by replacing several ground level car parks with a single multi-storey car park. This would then free up existing land to build new hospital facilities.
Q: Will the development keep away from the flood plain except the very edge – flooding is increasing and is forecast to get worse?
The area covered in the masterplan is not in flood zone 2 or 3. As part of the process of applying for planning permission for the site, our expert advisers will provide a detailed flood risk assessment which will include drainage strategies for the site and an assessment of any impact on the wider local area.
Q: How many beds are there now versus the future plans? Covid has exposed the shortage of beds, partly created by the planning assumption that more would go into the community.
A: The proposals are based on maintenance of the same number of beds. Significant improvements in the flexibility of the space should enable us to better respond to changing demands in the future. Across MFT, our teams are learning from the Covid-19 response and these lessons will help us to make bed use more efficient, responsive and flexible. We will continue to enhance and develop the services at Wythenshawe hospital to best meet the local and wider needs.
Q: The design is based on the requirement to keep the Acute block, built under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI). What are the constraints of that contract for those buildings and how would you like the facilities to look if you weren’t constrained?
A: We are retaining the Acute block because it is fairly new and it is integral to the masterplan rather than being a constraint.
Q: How would the building be more accessible and be different from the central site [MFT’s Oxford Road Campus]? This is not just the physical access, it needs to be seniority and dexterity inclusive as well as reflecting the diversity of citizens in Wythenshawe and Manchester.
Will the redevelopment also be sensory inclusive?
A: As we move into the detailed design process we will develop a full engagement strategy to ensure that the proposed facilities are accessible to all.
Q: The housing proposed in the SRF should be social housing, not affordable housing. Does the key worker housing mean if you change your job you lose your accommodation? What steps will be taken to ensure that is not so? What happens when you then run out of accommodation for staff?
A: The housing suggestions in the masterplan are initial ideas, so at the next stage we will do much more specific research on type and size of houses, local needs, type of tenure. We’re also looking at good practice around the UK and internationally.
Over the next year or so we will do lots of community engagement to understand what local people want and need, talk to housing commissioners and analyse the existing housing stock in the local area. We’ll also be thinking about roads, lighting, access to amenities and other elements which will help ensure the new housing is suited to what local people and hospital staff require.
Q: Will you be providing free or affordable and safe car park spaces, and including plenty and large spaces for disabled citizens?
Will car parking for night staff and those on-call at all hours be secure and close to the hospital? Public transport is less likely to be used at that time of night.
A: How and where car parking is provided is important. We want staff and visitors to feel safe and secure. A new modern multi-storey car park will be part of the early phase of the hospital redevelopment. There will be accessible parking spaces and provision for electric vehicle recharging.
Q: Will there be a Metro tram connection closer to the hospital? This would be hugely beneficial, plus accessible and more regular buses.
A: We are working closely with the Metrolink team and have proposed a new tram stop that will be nearer to A&E. This will help to bring staff, patients and visitors straight to the front door of the hospital.
We’re also working with Transport for Greater Manchester to look at plans for the tram to continue to the airport, and at how we can make walking routes to the hospital as easy as possible.
Q: How do you propose to fund the redevelopment plans? What happens if you fail to attract the hoped-for private companies? Does it affect the plans for the NHS facilities?
A: Once the masterplan has been endorsed by Manchester City Council, we can then take our proposals to various Government departments to request investment support. The advantages of the wide-ranging, mixed use proposals within the masterplan provide for a range of potential investment sources.
The masterplan represents a long term vision and we recognise that we may need to redevelop the site in phases as funding becomes available.