02 November 2011,

East Lancashire Building Partnership - £21m Barbara Castle Way Health Centre Opens

A new £21 million super health centre has opened for business in Blackburn with Darwen.

Eric Wright Construction have successfully handed over the new state of the art health centre on Barbara Castle Way in Blackburn both on time and on budget to its NHS LIFT partners, East Lancashire Building Partnership. The building will provide services for the population of Blackburn with Darwen. Barbara Castle Way Health Centre has 121 clinical rooms and employs around 250 staff, giving a complete range of health and social services. The 8,000-square metre building, which is located on the site between Capita and Blackburn College university building, has a 61-place underground car park for use by patients to the building.

The new facility includes provision for GPs, community and dentistry, primary care mental health, ophthalmology, audiology, physiotherapy, young persons' resources and a community pharmacy. In addition, the centre has been designed to accommodate a mobile MRI unit, as well as provide the latest hi-tech X-ray and diagnostic equipment.

The new centre will see the closure of three existing health centres as services transfer into a single location.

Eric Wright Group associate director, Christine Winstanley, said: "This scheme will locate health provision nearer to the patient with a transport infrastructure that supports easier access for a wider cohort of patients. It is a modern, fit-for-purpose building that is designed around a patient pathway, to enhance the patient experience and provide more positive outcomes."

As well as building the centre the Eric Wright Group will provide life-cycle and facilities management support for 25 years.

The centre is part of an NHS Blackburn with Darwen Care Trust Plus strategy to create a convenient 'one stop shop' for health that is easier for patients from across the borough to access.

Sir Bill Taylor, chair of NHS Blackburn with Darwen Care Trust Plus, said: "I would like to extend my warmest thanks to the Eric Wright Group for the fantastic job that they have done with the Barbara Castle Way Health Centre. They have delivered a first rate, state of the art, health facility that will serve the people of Blackburn with Darwen for many years to come."

The building is within walking distance of the town's bus and train stations and will be serviced by a new bus stop.

As well as the patient car park, there are accessible parking bays and a drop-off zone, which will allow access directly into the health centre via lifts and stairs.

For further information please contact East Lancashire Building Partnership LIFTCo