Residents in and around Hartshill will soon see plans for a new £2.6 million medical centre and pharmacy in Stoke-on-Trent realised as building work commences on site. The start of construction was marked by a turf cutting ceremony attended by representatives from the Practice, patients, PCT, LIFTCo and the contractor, Thomas Vale.
Hartshill Medical Centre and Pharmacy is due for completion in autumn 2012 and is being built in partnership with the existing Hartshill Surgery, NHS Stoke-on-Trent, Prime plc and Prima 200, the North Staffordshire LIFT.
The project sees long-awaited plans for a new facility come to fruition. With support from NHS Stoke-on-Trent, the GPs were able to commission the project directly through the local Public Private Partnership, Prima 200. Just 18 months after approaching LIFT, the project is now under construction. Once complete, the GPs will lease the new property from Prima 200.
Dr Dent, lead GP at Hartshill Surgery, commented: “Since we started working with Prima, the project has come together very quickly and it’s good to see construction work get underway on the new centre. This new facility will help us improve and expand our service offering for the local community and we look forward to seeing plans that we’ve developed with the development and design team realised.”
The new facility, which is the first to be built under the latest building regulations in Stoke-on-Trent, has been designed by healthcare specialists One Creative Environments Ltd in consultation with Hartshill Surgery and the local community and Residents’ Association.
Located on the corner of Ashwell Road and Hartshill Road, the single storey 800 sqm building will provide a range of improved services, including an onsite pharmacy, for the 6,300 patients currently registered at Hartshill Surgery, as well as allowing space for the practice to grow. There will also be a multi-purpose room available for local community use.
In addition, the centre will also be able to expand its minor surgery services. In particular that the practice will increase its current vasectomy clinic, helping to take pressure off the local hospital and providing support for neighbouring practices. Adequate space within the centre will also allow the practice to accommodate GP training sessions for undergraduate and postgraduates.
Its location, 400 yards away from the current premises, means that users will not have to travel further to access the practice, whilst its close proximity to the high street will drive footfall into the town, benefiting the local economy.
Ann Pursey, Chief Executive of Prima 200, added: “Hartshill Medical Centre shows how LIFT has worked successfully in Stoke-on-Trent, providing a vehicle to get new community and health facilities off the ground. The model offers the best of both worlds, with finance and support from the PCT, whilst also enabling the GPs to develop a purpose built facility to suit their needs.”
Thomas Vale has been appointed as the main contractor for the site and will ensure that the community is regularly informed about the progress of the project and that disruption around the area will be kept to a minimum.
Paul Clarke, Strategic Projects Director at Thomas Vale Construction, said: “We’re proud to be working on this local project and as a committed member of the Considerate Constructors scheme, we will liaise with the community and ensure that the construction of the project runs smoothly and to the highest standard.”
Sandra Jones, Project Manager for NHS Stoke on Trent, commented: “The NHS is pleased that construction is now underway on the Hartshill Medical Centre. It’s an important project that is part of our wider strategic plans to support improved GP services in the area.”
Barbara Andrew of Hartshill and Harpfields Residents’ Association, said: “Along with other members of the local community, we’ve been involved in plans for the Medical Centre for some time and it will be fascinating to see our ideas and input into the design come to life.”
Designed by One Creative Environments Ltd, the red brick exterior of the medical centre has been designed to blend with neighbouring buildings, whilst its one storey height takes into account nearby residential homes.
Craig Walding of One Creative Environments Limited, explained: “Hartshill Medical Centre has been developed closely with the GPs, patients, residents and PCT and the final result is not just a contemporary building, but a new surgery with its own identity that has been shaped by the local community. The centre will also incorporate a number of green technologies including solar PV panels and an energy efficient ventilation system, demonstrating that we’ve designed the building with sustainability in mind.”