Boost for key workers in Dorset: New accommodation unveiled at Dorset County Hospital

4th May 2023

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Boost for key workers in Dorset: New accommodation unveiled at Dorset County Hospital

Good news has come for Dorset’s key workers. Prime has delivered new housing in Brewery Square, Dorchester which will be prioritised for the staff of its partner Dorset County Hospital NHS FT. This is a step towards addressing the significant lack of quality key worker housing across the UK.

Alexandra House offers 63 one- and two-bedroom contemporary apartments which are energy efficient and to a high specification, including fully fitted kitchens. The apartments are also being let with essential furnishings.

Located in the Brewery Square development, which includes a vibrant range of shops, restaurants and leisure facilities, Alexandra House is close to the town centre and only a 10-minute walk from Dorset County Hospital (DCH), making it a highly sustainable location for key worker accommodation. The development is convenient to Dorchester South train station with links to the rest of the county as well as further afield, such as Southampton and London.

Housing costs in Dorset are significantly above the national average. Recruiting and retaining staff is a key part of the Trust’s workforce supply strategy, from both outside and inside the UK. Set against a crisis in medical staffing, the increased costs of employing agency nurses has seen the Trust employ a growing number of overseas nurses in recent years. In addition to offering homes to international and UK-based staff, the Trust believes that a major incentive to work at DCH is to provide good quality, well-maintained accommodation close to the hospital.

The apartments will be sequentially offered to staff from DCH, the wider health system then other public bodies within Dorset.

Chris Hearn, Chief Financial Officer at Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “This partnership with Prime has enabled us to offer our staff high standard, fully furnished accommodation in a convenient location close to the hospital.

We’re really pleased with the quality of the build and look forward to being able to offer these apartments to new recruits relocating to Dorchester.”

Guy Kippen, Development Manager at Prime said: “The Trust’s partnership with Prime exemplifies the importance of working together to tackle complex and time-critical challenges in the healthcare sector.

By providing suitable and affordable housing to key workers, the hospital can retain and attract the essential workforce required to deliver outstanding patient care.”

Alexandra House is operated by ‘Hyve by Prime’. Hyve is a not-for-profit company that provides and manages accommodation for health and care workers. Hyve rents the accommodation directly to the tenants – so, with no leases or nomination agreements, the demand risk sits with Hyve, removing any burden from NHS balance sheets.

Introducing the new operator, Hannah Cashmore, Director at Hyve said “Our aim with Hyve is to provide affordable, convenient and quality homes for residents, that support the NHS and other public bodies with their recruitment and retention objectives.

We are delighted with Alexandra House and look forward to it contributing to the wellbeing of the local workforce for decades to come.”

The apartments are let on minimum six-monthly tenancies direct to staff, who began a staged move-in at the end of April. To find out more visit:

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