Construction has started on the new Hereford Medical Centre today (16 May 2019), thanks to a £9m deal secured by specialist health and care developer Prime Plc and the NHS Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
To mark the occasion, a turf cutting ceremony was held on the site where the Centre will be built on Station Approach in Hereford. Attendees included Jesse Norman MP for Hereford, Councillor Brian Wilcox chairman of Herefordshire Council, Dr Ian Tait, Chair of the NHS Herefordshire CCG alongside Dr Jonathan Duffett and Dr Andy Watts who will be practicing at the modern surgery once it is complete. Senior staff from Speller Metcalfe, the local contractors delivering the project, and developers Prime were also there to celebrate the milestone.
The Hereford Medical Centre will be built in the heart of the City on behalf of the Hereford Medical Group, a merger of five local GP practices which will be co-located in the modern and accessible purpose-built facility once it completes in 2020. From under one roof, the Hereford Medical Group will be able to make a positive change to the delivery of GP services in its community, making them more sustainable and efficient, and improving the patient experience of seeing their local healthcare teams.
The multimillion-pound project is a priority scheme for the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) and represents the biggest ever single investment in primary care for Herefordshire. Its construction is being financed by both Prime Plc and NHS England, which awarded the scheme £2.1m from its Estates, Technology and Transformation Fund (ETTF). The completed building will be occupied by the Hereford Medical Group under a 3PD lease.
Richard Laing, Executive Chairman at Worcester based Prime, and Herefordshire resident said: “We have been working closely with the Hereford Medical Group, NHS Herefordshire CCG and Herefordshire Council for five years to bring these exciting plans to fruition, so we are very pleased that we have been able to secure the investment needed to make our collective ambitions a reality and to be here today to see the building work commence.”
“It’s a truly landmark scheme for Hereford and one which will not only have a positive impact on patient care but being the first major scheme along the new link road will also provide a platform for the wider development in this part of the City. Prime has developed over one hundred health centres across the UK and Republic of Ireland so, as a local, it’s great to be finally undertaking a project in my hometown.”
The NHS Herefordshire CCG approached NHS England for ETTF support for the scheme in 2016 and was pleased that the significance of the project to the local area was recognised and that funding was awarded to part-finance the scheme.
Dr Jonathan Duffett, GP Partner at Hereford Medical Group said: “We are very pleased to have finally signed off on the new Surgery development and for work to be starting on site. It’s great to be looking forward to a fit for purpose modern primary care building for Hereford City. It provides for us an appropriate environment to deliver health care for decades to come with better facilities, accessibility and the flexibility to change with future needs. This is really good news and we are most grateful for the support of the CCG, the Council, NHS England and Prime over the years of planning to achieve this vision.”
Contractor Speller Metcalfe has been chosen to deliver the Hereford Medical Centre through Prime’s own Private Investment Construction Framework (PIC). The firm came forward with a competitively priced bid and have a strong connection with the local area, as it is based in nearby Malvern.
In September 2018, Prime secured planning permission for the Hereford Medical Centre which has been designed by One Creative Environments Ltd (One). With funding now in place and construction work underway in May 2019, the Centre is expected to be ready to welcome patients from Autumn 2020.