IN MARCH 2003, a three month long public consultation began on the possibility of a new community hospital for Maldon.

By the end of the consultation, it was expected a site for the new hospital, which would replace the then “ageing” St Peter’s Hospital, would be announced within a month.

Plans were then unveiled for a new replacement health centre in the town due to be finished by 2006.

Delays followed, and it was back to the drawing board in 2009 when fresh proposals were unveiled.

It was announced Maldon would get a brand new hospital, fully completed by 2013.

Again, delays put pay to the plans for the quick, four year turnaround, and St Peter’s remained in its current state, until eventually it went from “ageing” to “aged”.

In August 2014, Maldon District Council announced St Peter’s Hospital was no longer a viable site for a hospital, but nothing could be done while progress on a new health hub continued to go slow.

By 2016 a new community hospital was once again back on the cards. As a decision had to be made between renovating the existing St Peter’s Hospital or opting for a new build option.

A year later, the final shortlist of two sites was announced.

The new health centre would either be built on a new 320 home development on Wycke Hill Farm, or on the existing Spital Road site.

In January 2017, the as then unnamed community hospital, was rebranded to the Maldon Health Hub.

The CCG said that it should no longer be referred to as a hospital as there was no guarantee the new facility would include beds.

This week, the CCG confirmed that they were looking into a Home First scheme, which aims to get people home from hospital sooner, as they announced a public consultation to take place over Autumn.

They also revealed that they would be working on two parallel plans during the consultation, one including beds, and the other not, depending on the success of Home First.