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Presentation made by the present and the previous Chair of South Northamptonshire Council which represents the closing of the joint charity fund they have dedicated to the Brackley Community Hospital 2020 Trust.

The cheque for £6200 takes the thermometer to almost 90% at £191580.67 


In 1990 the National Health Service decided that the much-loved Brackley Cottage Hospital was no longer viable and needed to be closed.  The residents of the town and its surrounding villages, however, had other ideas, and, spearheaded by the then Town Mayor of Brackley, George Britchfield, an ambitious project began to “save the Cottage”.  A charitable trust, of which George became the first chairman, was set up to run the hospital thanks to public donations, subscriptions and legacies.  There were some private nursing home beds and others which were rented to the NHS for intermediate care.  In spite of many pressures, this continued for 25 years until it proved impossible to recruit sufficient trained permanent staff to ensure the safe working of the hospital, and a sad decision was taken to close its doors on 31 March 2015. 


The Brackley Community Hospital 2020 Trust was contacted last year by Sarah Marshall, manager of the branch of Specsavers in Bicester and herself a local resident.  Aware of the Trust’s wish to help with th provision of ophthalmology services within the new Community Hospital, Specsavers offered to donate a slit-lamp.  This morning (5 February 2021), the new slit-lamp was presented by Sarah to Dr Paul Parsons in the presence of our Treasurer, Paul Bennett.  


2020 will be a memorable year for us all, mostly for the wrong reasons.

However, in Brackley, 2020 will forever be remembered as the year when our new healthcare facility finally came to fruition. This project has been many years in the planning and it has had to overcome many hurdles. Finally, the initiative was taken by a private company to undertake the construction of the building and the various bodies would then be able to take occupation. Covid19 has delayed the building, partly because of reduced labour availability but also because essential materials were diverted at one point to the rapidly constructed Nightingale hospitals.


The connection between mental health and the therapeutic benefits of gardening is widely recognised, so when plans were being discussed for the new Community Hospital and the grounds surrounding it, the decision was made to include a sensory garden. An area was chosen close to the building, easily accessible for patients having respite care, their family and friends, or for people with time to spare on their visits to the hospital facilities.