Big investment and changes at Royal Bucks

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The Royal Bucks Hospital has reopened its doors and insisted there will be no involvement from its previous owner.

Affinity Care has bought the Grade II listed building and has big plans for it but moved quickly to assure past patients and staff those plans do not include Dr James Clarke.

Royal Bucks Hospital chairman Chris Bialan and operations director Colette Manning

Royal Bucks Hospital chairman Chris Bialan and operations director Colette Manning

The hospital closed last year and it took seven months for Dr Clarke to pay out more than £350,000 in owed wages and redundancy packages.

Rumours had circulated of Dr Clarke’s involvement as a silent partner at the hospital, which will specialise in spinal and neurological care, but operations director Colette Manning swiftly denied this.

She said: “He’s nothing to do with it whatsoever. Affinity Care bought it off him and that’s that.”

Royal Bucks Hospital chairman Chris Bialan said: “This is a grand old lady and needs to be taken back to her former glories.

“The previous owners put it into financial meltdown. Because of the previous owners we have got to make a bit of a statement.”

Staff protests were held because of Dr Clarke’s actions while MPs also got involved.

Mr Bialan said the company would be investing almost £3 million to revitalise the hospital. Upon completion it will have 43 rooms available.

Already it has secured Care Quality Commission approval for the operation of several outpatient beds meaning the hospital is now operational.

Mr Bialan added: “This is a slow burner but in 12 months time it will be up and running and buzzing.”

There are bigger potential plans for the hospital which include building two new wings at the back bringing the total number of rooms to 60.

These are forecast to cost in the region of £2 million but Mr Bialan said such plans are at least two or three years away from completion.

Despite the inevitable risks of the investment Mr Bialan is optimistic.

He added: “The biggest confidence boost we have got is the consultants coming back to us.”

Mr Bialan said staff and care at the hospital was never a problem and that people are being encouraged to return.

Secretary of the Bucks health branch of Unison, Steve Bell, said: “I welcome the new jobs created and hopefully we can work with the employers. We would like to meet with them in the near future.”