11 August 2008,

£80m boost for revamp of Sandwell’s health centres

£80m boost for revamp of Sandwell's health centres - 12th August 2008

Thousands of people across Sandwell are set to benefit from a £80m investment in 14 new health and neighbourhood centres over the next five years. The ambitious plans for a large scale programme to modernise health and council facilities have been announced by Sandwell Local Improvement Finance Trust Company (LIFT), a local development company which will plan, design, build and maintain these buildings for Sandwell Primary Care Trust (PCT) and Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council under long term public private partnership agreements.

The plans have been identified in Sandwell PCT's Strategic Services Development Plan (SSDP) and will form an important part of the Towards 2010 regeneration programme in the borough .

Up to 14 new state-of-the-art centres are to be built between 2009 and 2011, with three existing facilities extended or refurbished to bring them up to standard.  There are likely to be several waves of developments, each with several buildings to be constructed concurrently. Once open they will house a wide range of primary care and GP services along with some council and community services - all conveniently located under one roof.

One of the first schemes to take shape is the £7m Glebefields Health Centre for Tipton, which has recently received approval from planners. It will be built on a brownfield site on St Marks Road in the town and will replace the outdated Glebefields Health Centre nearby. Building work is expected to start in the New Year, and will take 18 months to complete, with the building due to open its doors to patients in summer 2010. In the meantime the existing GP surgeries and primary care services will be run as usual from the existing health centre.

Other proposed new schemes include:

•         £9.5m Oldbury Health and Social Wellbeing Centre (new build)

•         £10m Health Centre in Wednesbury town centre (new build)

•         £14.5m Health Centre in Smethwick town centre (new build)

•         £5m Dudley Port Neighbourhood Centre (new build)

•         £5m Great Bridge Health Centre (new build)

•         £5m Great Barr Health Centre (new build)

•         £5m North Smethwick (Holly Lodge) Health Centre (new build)

•         £4m Friar Park Health Centre (new build)

•         £4.5m Greets Green Health Centre (new build)

•         £4.5m Cradley Health Centre (new build)

•         £4.5m Stone Cross Health Centre (new build)

•         £4m Hill Top Health Centre in Wednesbury (new build)

•         £4.5m Rood End/Langley Health Centre (new build)

•         £850k refurbishment of Neptune Health Centre in Tipton

•         £200k extension of Cape Hill Medical Centre in Smethwick

•         £100k refurbishment of Hill Top Medical Centre in Oldbury

Sandwell LIFT Company already has four buildings open:

•         £1.6m Birmingham Road Primary Care Centre

•         £4.6m Oldbury Health Centre

•         £1.6m Whiteheath Medical Centre

•         £2.5m Yew Tree Healthy Living Centre

The schemes are part of a government initiative known as Local Improvement Finance Trust or LIFT.  The LIFT programme allows the local primary care trust, local authority and the Department of Health's Community Health Partnerships to work with private sector partner Primary Plus, a company set up by John Laing and Bank of Scotland Corporate to create a local Development Company (LIFTCo). The local LIFTCo develops and invests in new premises, to provide local communities with modern, integrated health and community services in high quality, fit for purpose, modern facilities.

Mike Nicklin, general manager of the Sandwell LIFT Company said: "We at Sandwell LIFT Company are working very hard to design, plan and commission new premises in partnership with Sandwell PCT. Our priority is to provide local communities across Sandwell with a range of high quality but cost effective facilities, housing integrated health and community services."

Richard Nugent, chair of Sandwell PCT, said: "This is an ambitious programme of development for Sandwell and will result in state of the art facilities delivering high quality services for local people.   By bringing together a range of health and other services into the local community, local people will have easy access to the services they need when they need them."

For further information please contact:

Jo Garner, PR manager, Sandwell LIFTCo on m: 07979 800 897 or by email: jo.garner@primaryplus-online.co.uk

Picture caption

Artist impressions of what the new Oldbury Health and Social Wellbeing Centre could look like, an important part of the Sandwell LIFT Company's £80m programme of investment in health and council premises in Sandwell

Notes to editors

Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) is a government initiative to supplement investment in primary and social care and community premises nationwide, some of which are in real need of modernisation.

This is being achieved locally through Sandwell LIFT Company Ltd., a public private partnership which is owned by private sector partner Primary Plus (a joint venture between John Laing and Bank of Scotland), Sandwell Primary Care Trust along with Community Health Partnerships.

Sandwell LIFTCo has four operational schemes:

•         Birmingham Road Primary Care Centre - a £1.6m primary care building housing a number of health and social care services including minor surgery, a pharmacy and meeting rooms

•         Oldbury Health Centre - a £4.6m 'one stop shop' incorporating a broad range of community health and social care services including dental, podiatry, training rooms and a pharmacy

•         Whiteheath Medical Centre - a £1.6m primary care building housing a number of health and social care services including GPs, community nursing, health visitors, podiatry and mental health

•         Yew Tree Healthy Living Centre - a £2.5m state-of-the-art medical centre housing a range of primary care services

More information is available at www.sandwelllift.co.uk

John Laing is a specialist provider of facilities in the PFI and PPP markets with a long-term perspective and approach. The company manages and delivers projects from planning and funding through to design, construction and operation.