Station Medical Centre
Hereford, United Kingdom
Hereford Medical Group
Investor and Estates and Technology Transformation Fund (ETTF)
Taking urgent action to transform a city’s healthcare facilities
After no material investment in health and community facilities for more than 40 years, the ability of GPs to transform healthcare delivery in Hereford had become seriously restricted.
With construction and land prices rising, buildings no longer fit for purpose and difficulties with recruitment and retention, Prime’s work to deliver an integrated primary care hub for the city exemplifies the benefits of taking transformative action before it’s too late.
Like many cities, Hereford finds itself with a series of socio-economic challenges; an increasing population, an ageing population, growing numbers of residents with long term conditions (LTC) and an over-reliance of the health system on hospital-based care. With a long-term lack of investment, healthcare facilities in the city were no longer fit for purpose. Blighted by inaccessibility issues, lack of space, rising maintenance costs and an inability to expand, it was no surprise that recruitment and retention were also posing a threat to service delivery.
After years of attempting to transform service delivery models and improve the health and wellbeing of the population they serve and support, five practices embarked on a bold, collaborative project with Prime to make that change a reality.
Prime’s experience of GP partnership mergers helped to allay any fears held by the practice staff of service integration. Prime understood involving other health and care stakeholders across the city would ensure plans benefitted the whole system and that without working together they would face an uncertain future.
After engaging with stakeholders to understand issues affecting the city, Prime worked with the practices to create an estates strategy that aligned itself to the Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) strategies. This proposed the merger of five local GP practices, co-located in a modern and accessible purpose-built facility, demonstrating year one savings estimated at £490,000, rising to over £900,000 in year five.
Through the collective determination of the GPs and Prime to deliver a truly transformational business case, the project won the support of the NHS Herefordshire CCG, leading to the project being awarded £2.1m from the NHS Estates, Technology and Transformation Fund (ETTF). Due to the complex nature of the project (land purchase, lease agreements, building contracts and revenue funding) Prime took the commercial risk, committing to short term investment of the project while leveraging its market-leading knowledge of the sector and investor requirements to secure a long-term specialist investor.
Opening its doors in October 2020, the purpose-built medical centre benefits from a flexible design allowing for adaptability in the future and maximising the design life of the building, while new technologies contribute to minimal planned maintenance. Our business strategy requires all development projects to achieve a minimum 10% ‘biodiversity net gain’ and our work at Station Road was no different, improving biodiversity through numerous positive ecological actions, including the introduction of 11 swift boxes, the planting of 28 new trees and native hedging. Two new species of invertebrates were also introduced in houses within the soft landscaping. The site was previously a brownfield site containing warehouses. With the introduction of the soft landscaping, it is now a much more environmentally friendly site.
Station Medical Centre has been assessed under the BREEAM Construction regulations and achieved a rating of “Excellent”. Further sustainability credentials include 200 sqm of solar PV panels and EV charging points with ductworks provided for additional charging points. It is also located next to Hereford’s transport hub, meaning getting to the medical centre on public transport is easy and convenient.
The measure of success will be improved access to services for patients and a revitalised and motivated workforce. The result of taking innovative, decisive action and forging ahead to turn uncertainty into opportunity.
Developing space for change in health and care