03 December 2009,

Hull LIFT - Construction on £15m Wilberforce Health Centre to Start in January

Development work on a pioneering health and well-being facility in the heart of Hull city centre will start this month, after partners on the scheme have exchanged contracts.

Wilberforce Health Centre represents a private investment of £15m and will be developed by LIFTCo Citycare, the partnership between the city's primary care trust NHS Hull, construction company Sewell Group, The UME Group and Community Health Partnerships, which has already revolutionised health care facilities in many parts of the city.

Construction work on the centre itself, which will be built in Story Street, part of the Albion Square Development Area, will start once the derelict building that stands there already has been demolished. The scheme is expected to be complete late 2011.

The building will house a walk-in GP service which will be located within the building for both registered and non-registered patients, open between 8am and 8pm, 365 days a year.

150 GP-led surgeries of this nature are being rolled out across the country, following on from Professor Lord Ara Darzi's High Quality Care for All review of the NHS. The centres are intended to offer convenient GP access alongside other health services.

People who use the centre will also be able to access other GPs, who will relocate from nearby surgeries, as well as dental, sexual health and addictions services coupled with access to Hull City Council services and a café. The centre will also be a base for paramedics.

The following city centre based services will relocate to the facility:

  • The Quays - GP practice (currently based in Myton Street, city centre)

  • The Quays - substance misuse service (currently based in Myton Street)

  • Conifer House - sexual health services (currently based in Prospect Street, city centre)

  • Cornerhouse - a sexual health drop-in for teenagers (currently based within Conifer House)

  • Dr AW Hussain - GP practice (currently based in George Street and Anlaby Road, west Hull)

The start of development work on Wilberforce Health Centre comes on the back of Citycare completing work on £21m worth of the city Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) programme in 2009 alone, with construction
work on Kingswood Health Centre and Bilton Grange Health Centre completed in October and The Orchard Centre opening in December.

Jo Barnes, chief executive of Citycare, said: "It has been an incredibly busy year for Citycare, with the completion of three significant schemes for us - further enhancing the city's health estate for NHS Hull. Now, 2010 looks set to be just as successful - we are delighted to have exchanged contracts on the scheme and be starting on site within the next couple of weeks. We will be working very closely with local businesses and residents to ensure the construction phase runs as smoothly as possible."

Christopher Long, chief executive of NHS Hull, said: "Wilberforce Health Centre will provide a range of high-quality health services for the people of Hull. Its location in the heart of the city centre means that thousands of residents will benefit from a variety of services delivered in modern, welcoming surroundings. This marks another step forward in the delivery of real choice and convenience for patients and the public in Hull."

For further information please contact Kelly Todd at Mercury - (01482) 869553