A new £14 million health centre has opened in Stoke-on-Trent to provide an enhanced range of services to a patient population in excess of 100,000.
Commissioned by NHS Stoke on Trent and developed through the Prima 200 LIFT partnership with private sector partner Prime plc, the three-storey Cobridge Health Centre incorporates two buildings – a state-of-the-art community health centre and an integrated sexual health unit to provide a range of specialist services for people across Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire.
The new facility brings together two local GP practices – Dr Pathak and the Aspley House Surgery from Waterloo Road in Burslem. The community health centre building will also be home to a wide range of health services, including:
• District nursing, health visiting and school nursing teams
• Adult physiotherapy, podiatry, occupational therapy and speech therapy services
• On-site pharmacy
• A chest clinic and other outpatient services
• Specialist out-patients clinics and X-ray services
The integrated sexual health unit will provide genitourinary medicine, contraceptive services, Chlamydia screening and HIV counselling. Opening next year a Sexual Assault Referral Centre serving the whole of Staffordshire, including Stoke-on-Trent, will also operate from the integrated sexual health unit.
Chief Executive of the Staffordshire Cluster of PCTs Graham Urwin said: “It’s fantastic to see all the hard work that’s been put in coming to fruition after so much planning. As well as the two GP practices being based there, a whole range of services will also operate from the centre which means people will no longer have to travel to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire to access them. We expect around a hundred thousand people to use the centre every year.”
Resident Bernard Wragg, who helped campaign to get the centre built in Cobridge andcut the first sod when work began last summer, is also Chairman of Dr Pathak’s Patient Group and of the Local Residents’ Association. He said: “I am over the moon that the centre is open. It will be a fantastic facility and I really hope that this will help to kick-start the regeneration of the area.”
Stoke on Trent North MP Joan Walley said: “The residents of Cobridge have worked hard and campaigned tirelessly to get this facility and I am delighted to see all this hard work come to fruition. I want to say congratulations to the PCT for making this happen. We know that if we are going to make a difference to health inequalities, health services need to be at the centre of the community so the centre’s opening will really mark the start of something to celebrate.”
City Councillor Mohammed Pervez, leader of Stoke on Trent City Council and Ward Member for Burslem South, said: “I, along with other community members, have fought long and hard to get this facility in the heart of the community which will uplift the area immensely. Burslem South has several issues relating to health and having a centre like this will truly please the people of this ward.”