Prima 200’s Chairman Campbell Boyle, has been joined by NHS Stoke on Trent’s Chief Executive Graham Urwin, and Stoke on Trent North MP Joan Walley to officially cut the turf to mark the work starting on site for the new Cobridge Community Health Centre, local resident and campaigner for the new health centre Bernard Wragg also joined the group.
The GPs who will use the building and other local dignitaries and councillors who have supported the scheme were also in attendance, alongside Steve Sprackling, Development Director and Immi Gandhi, Medical Director at development partners Prime plc, and Pierre du Toit, Senior Project Design Manager at One Creative Environments Ltd who designed the two new buildings.
The new three storey community health centre will bring together two local GP practices:
·Dr Pathak whose surgery is based at 279 Waterloo Road in Burslem
·Apsley House surgery based at 188 Waterloo Road
The new £14 million development will include a state of the art 2,665 sqm community health centre and a purpose built 1,668 sqm integrated sexual health unit, which will provide a range of specialist services benefiting communities across Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire.
Designed by health care specialists One Creative Environments Ltd the building will include a wide range of health services including new facilities such as an on-site pharmacy, chest clinic, specialist out-patients clinics and x-ray. Establishing these new services will help reduce patient journey times to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire.
The integrated sexual health unit will offer a range of important clinical and counselling facilities including contraception advice, and sexual health services. A sexual assault referral centre will be set up on the second floor which will offer support and care to victims of sexual violence.
The health centre will be split across two new buildings, both of which are shaped to reflect the local urban landscape, with design sympathetic to the Victorian Christ Church situated nearby. The site will also benefit from extensive landscaping and planting to provide additional ‘green’ environmental space in the heart of Stoke –on-Trent. Each of the two buildings will also incorporate a range of environmental features to maximise their efficiency and minimise waste.
Speaking at the sod cutting ceremony Campbell Boyle Chairman of Prima 200 said: “We’ll be working closely with our partners to ensure the health centre is a really striking building and its build is in-keeping with the characteristics of the nearby church.” Graham Urwin Chief Executive, for NHS Stoke on Trent, said: “It’s fantastic to see work start after so much planning. Three GP practices will be based here with a patient list of 11,000. 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 will use the centre every year.”
The Chief Executive invited local resident and campaigner Bernard Wragg to officially cut the first sod with Stoke on Trent MP Joan Walley. Bernard, who is Chairman of Dr Pathak’s Patient Group and of the Local Residents’ Association said: “I was speechless when I was asked to cut the first sod as I really didn’t expect that. I am over the moon that work has now started and I really hopethis will kick-start the regeneration of the area.”
Stoke on Trent North MP Joan Walley said: “I am delighted to be here. The residents of Cobridge have worked hard and campaigned tirelessly to get this facility and I am delighted to see it 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 today really does mark the start of something to celebrate.”
Councillor Mohammed Pervez, leader of the city council and ward member for Burslem South, said: “I am delighted to see that at long last the building work for this health centre is about to begin. 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 would truly please the people of this ward.”