A FORMER rehabilitation hospital has gone up for sale after closing due to a lack of NHS funding.

South Newton Hospital never reopened after Renovo Care Group shut the doors temporarily in June 2023, officially closing the following month.

Property adviser Christie & Co has now been instructed to sell the building, which comprises 131 ensuite bedrooms and five private flats spread across a range of buildings, including a number of nursing homes and 10 bungalows which were operated as independent units.

Read more: Shock as South Newton Hospital suddenly closes 'temporarily'

The NHS pulled its funding from the hospital in June, roughly four months after requesting South Newton Hospital changed its use from neuro-rehabilitation to a care facility where patients could be discharged for assessment following overwhelming winter demand in 2022.

The Bath, North-East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board then decided South Newton Hospital was no longer needed and it wanted to instead focus on home-based discharge pathways in the community.
Salisbury Journal: South Newton has been empty since June 2023.South Newton has been empty since June 2023. (Image: Christie & Co)

Renovo CEO Alastair Clegg said he "had no option" but to close the site as it was 100 per cent reliant on this funding and there wasn't a large enough demand for neuro-rehabilitation in Wiltshire.

Staff were made redundant and relocated to other care providers following the closure.

Mr Clegg added: "What makes it sad was staff had enormous loyalty to the site but we had to let them go. The site didn't really work for us anymore.

"We looked long and hard to see what we could do but it's just beyond our capabilities as a neuro-rehabilitation specialist."

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In the same month South Newton Hospital closed, it was rated 'good' by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which was a significant improvement from the hospital's 'inadequate' rating in March 2022.

However, Mr Clegg said the 'good' rating was "thoroughly bittersweet" because the hospital had sat empty since June 19.

Mr Clegg also mentioned plans to revive the hospital in October 2023 and that it would be reopening "soon", however this never happened.Salisbury Journal: The hospital had a fully equipped therapy suite with a physiotherapy gym.The hospital had a fully equipped therapy suite with a physiotherapy gym. (Image: Christie & Co)

A spokesperson for Salisbury District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: "As far as the future goes the hospital is always looking to explore opportunities to develop the care we offer our community subject to funding being made available."

John Glen, MP for Salisbury, said: "I appreciate that quite a few local people were keen to see the site acquired by the NHS.

“I listened to their views and approached SDH and they said that, while they had been able to make brief use of it, they did not need it on a long-term basis and had no wish to acquire it.

“If local NHS leaders had told me they wanted it, I would of course have done everything in my power to help them make it happen.”

For more information about the site visit christie.com/3878317.