The Greens Health Centre
Wren’s Nest, Dudley, West Midlands, England
GPs and Dudley PCT
Considering the small nature of this project, The Greens Health Centre proved to be quite a lengthy, challenging scheme for Prime – it wasn’t just about designing a building.
Located in a deprived part of the Black Country with security concerns, the project was a first for Prime in which we created a building and leased it directly to an NHS Trust, rather than the GPs. This proved to be a great learning curve, as it helped us understand how to structure projects which have consideration for NHS accounting and procurement regulations.
We succeeded in satisfying the health authority’s finance director that the scheme wouldn’t detrimentally affect their balance sheet by entering into a lease with Prime. It proved to be the formation of our expertise in NHS accounting for capital projects and how integral it is to any public sector healthcare scheme.
At the time, the GPs were working out of a larger NHS facility nearby, but they desperately wanted to relocate to independent, more suitable premises. We created a low maintenance building that featured GP and dentistry services, a pharmacy, and large consulting rooms with natural ventilation and low running costs.
It was a development that was more function over form – at the request of the local authority, we installed fencing around the whole site due to concerns over vandalism of health centres.
This was an interesting concept that fed our future projects. We took the view that if you put bars and fences on buildings, it actually encouraged vandals rather than deterred them, and this reverse psychology has influenced many of the bespoke, attractive buildings Prime has since produced.