The people of Hodge Hill, Birmingham have now moved a step closer to benefiting from a new state-of-the-art health centre, as NHS Birmingham East and North and partners Birmingham and Solihull (BaS) LIFT Co and Prime plc have successfully reached financial close on the £8.2 million Hodge Hill Primary Care Centre.
The new three storey 2,742 sqm centre will bring a wide range of health and care services under one roof, that are currently spread across the community in a range of small costly buildings that are no longer fit for purpose. The new building will also enable NHS Birmingham East and North and partners to expand and add to the service offering in Hodge Hill, one of the cities most deprived wards.
Critically the Hodge Hill Primary Care Centre will expand GP services in this under doctored area, helping to improve the health outcomes of a 15,000 strong patient population. Of that total 6,000 new patients will be served by additional GP services being provided by funding from the government’s Equitable Access to Primary Medical Care (EAPMC) programme, which aims to increase provision in under serviced areas. Residents will also benefit from a new onsite pharmacy and dental practice.
Located on Firs Farm Drive, the centre will offer purpose built accommodation for two local practices; Schoolacre Surgery and Hodge Hill Family Practice, which was opened in June 2009 and will relocate to the new centre from temporary premises. Additional services on offer in the centre will include health visiting, district nursing, health information, counselling and mental health services, sexual health and family planning, phlebotomy, diabetes support, podiatry and an onsite community paediatrician.
Designed by healthcare building specialists One Creative Environments Ltd, the new building takes a C-shape by wrapping around an existing mature oak tree that will be retained to form a strong focus to the development.
There will also be considerable landscaping to provide the valuable green space that was requested by residents during public consultation. Where possible the centre also makes use of other natural materials to blend the building into the site, with copper panelling on part of the façade which will oxidise with the weather turning into a blue green hue.
As well as contributing significantly to the regeneration of the community landscape, the development will also incorporate a wide range of green features, in pursuit of Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) Excellent rating.
Jonathan Tringham, Director of Resources for NHS Birmingham East and North, said “It is excellent to have progressed plans for the centre to this important stage. We will soon be starting work on site to create a facility that really is going to transform healthcare provision in Hodge Hill. So many new and expanded services will be offered under one roof that we believe it will make a real difference to quality of life and health outcomes of local residents.”
Ann Pursey, Chief Executive of BaS LIFT Co, said “Through LIFT we have been able to help the PCT remove a range of outdated and costly small buildings and replace them with a state-of-the-art centre which can then also support an expansion in services on offer to the community. This project demonstrates the importance of designing buildings and infrastructure around the service needs of a community, and how new facilities can open up opportunities to enhance what services can be offered.”
Richard Cutler, Development Director of BaS LIFT Co, added: “Having exchanged contracts we are now close to starting construction, with an anticipated completion of Spring 2011. The centre as a whole should make a valuable contribution to the health and wellbeing of the community.”