17 February 2010,

Doncaster LIFT - Construction To Start on Two New Health Centres

Building work is set to begin early March on two multi-million pound GP surgeries in Doncaster. Construction teams will move into Doncaster town centre and Conisbrough in a fortnight to start building the two new health centres, which will jointly cost almost £15m and host a wide range of NHS services.

Chief executive of NHS Doncaster Annette Laban said: "These are two exciting new developments for the Doncaster area which will bring about major improvements to the way we provide local NHS services.

"They will also play a key role in the ongoing regeneration of Doncaster town centre and Conisbrough." The town centre development will be built on the site of the current Trades and Labour Club, at St Sepulchre Gate, close to Doncaster railway station and the Interchange.

The building, which at one time was home to clothing manufacturer SR Gent, will be demolished to make way for what will be Doncaster's first purpose-built four-storey health centre.

When it opens in winter 2011 it will be the new home for Doncaster's "walk-in" health centre, which is open every day from 8am to 8pm and is currently based at Devonshire House on South Parade.

In addition to GP services, the new centre also is planning to offer dentistry, a pharmacy and various other NHS services.

The triangular shaped building, which will cost £8m, will be environmentally friendly, with many "green" features including a natural light "well" to draw in daylight, a system for harvesting and re-using rainwater, and solar panels to offset heating costs.

Work on the centre is anticipated to take about 22 months. Meanwhile, a new £7m health centre in Conisbrough will be built on the site of the existing health centre on Gardens Lane, providing modern accommodation for the two existing family doctor practices as well as district nursing, a minor operations unit and a pharmacy.

The first step will be to put up a temporary health centre on land alongside the existing one. Once that is in place the current Conisbrough health centre will be demolished and the new one built on its site. Work is expected to be completed by the end of next summer.

Ms Laban added: "A few years ago we gave the people of Doncaster a commitment that we would build a network of modern health centres across the borough that are purpose-built to provide 21st century care.

"The town centre and Conisbrough developments show that we are continuing to keep our promise." NHS Doncaster will also soon launch competitions inviting local people to suggest what both buildings should be named.

The two new developments will be the latest by Doncaster Community Solutions, a LIFT company jointly owned by NHS Doncaster, Doncaster Council and the private sector company Community Solutions for Primary Care. Over the last five years the company has also built health centres in Askern, Denaby, Edlington, Hatfield, Intake, Moorends and Thorne, at a combined cost of £30m.

Chairman of Doncaster Community Solutions David Liggins said: "We are delighted to be starting construction on these two high quality new buildings.

"After two years of very hard work, this is a major milestone in securing investment in healthcare provision in both Doncaster and Conisbrough."

For further details please contact - Doncaster Community Solutions LIFTCo