One of the last remaining workhouses in Britain, erected in 1865, Brighton General Hospital sits atop the hill of Elm Grove. It is currently at risk of either full or semi-demolition to fund development of a shiny new ‘health hub’, or worse still, a bland housing development of several hundred units undeserving of a hillside position.
If you wish to save it as a hospital, please complete NHS survey here. Choose option 1 or 2 to see it restored or refurbished (the cheapest and greenest option as well as the most noble). It is not after all a shiny new facility which delivers good health care, but having sufficient doctors, nurses, equipment, building maintenance and nursing care. I am sure we have all visited someone in a shiny new PFI hospital where the level of care and attention is actually poorer than it was in the original hospital, often because there is less money left in the pot for actual patient care. In addition most hospitals have closed their nurses’ home or sold it off to developers when they used to provide affordable onsite accommodation for key worker nurses.
History of Brighton General Hospital documented here.
If Brighton General is to be lost as a hospital, the existing building would make a handsome flat conversion and would be much more affordable than a newbuild. In addition, there is more local demand for flats than houses.
Here is an example of a similar project involving a former London workhouse dating from 1770s which inspired Dicken’s Oliver Twist.
A previous plan for a new school seems to have been discarded but some have suggested that turning Brighton General Hospital back to its original purpose, but as a 21st century style ‘workhouse’ (aka rehabilitation centre/hostel), could be an innovative and very welcome alternative to the growing problem of street homelessness in the city. Certainly Emmaus have previously expressed an interest in obtaining a city centre HQ/complex, and they provide full service and support for the vulnerable, getting them back into society, work and housing.