16 March 2010,

Doncaster LIFT- Ed Milliband MP Officially Opens Askern's The White Wings Centre

Doncaster's latest multi-million-pound health centre, The White Wings Centre, was officially opened on Friday (12th Mar).

Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband and the borough's Civic Mayor Coun Ros Jones, who is also an Askern Spa ward councillor, visited Askern to jointly declare the 'super surgery' officially open.

The two-storey Centre has been built alongside the site of the former Askern Health Centre, which was later demolished to make way for a new car park. It provides a modern new base for two local family doctor practices - The Lakeside Practice and Askern Medical Practice - plus an integral pharmacy and more besides.

NHS Doncaster Chief Executive Annette Laban said: "This is the modern face of health care in Doncaster, underlining our commitment to create purpose-designed buildings for our communities that can deliver a wider range of quality services. The building has created around three times more space than was available at the previous two surgeries and pharmacy, which has enabled us to do a lot more for patient care.

"The White Wings Centre is also supporting the regeneration of a former mining community and tastefully blends into the attractive surroundings of Askern lake."

The local community has played a key role in shaping the design of the new building and the services it provides, following extensive consultation. Patients can now access a range of health services - some of which were not previously available in Askern - including health visiting and district nursing, mental health counselling, sexual health, weight management, midwifery, podiatry, physiotherapy, quit smoking, minor surgery, diabetes and eye clinics.

In December 2008, pupils from Moss Road Infants School planted an air-tight time capsule in the grounds as the building was under construction. And artwork from their school, Spa Junior and Littlemoor Children's schools is on permanent display in the reception area.

During construction, builders uncovered some artefacts which prompted a wider excavation of the site in late 2007. Following discussions between the developer, Doncaster Council and Askern Historical Society, the items found, including a deer antler from the bronze age, are now displayed in a special cabinet in the Centre.

David Liggins, Chair of Doncaster Community Solutions, said: "We are especially proud of this project and the impact it is having upon services in the area. The support of local partners, in particular Askern Town Council has been invaluable in helping us to deliver such a successful building."

For further information please contact Doncaster Community Solutions