10 September 2007,

Hull LIFT opens £4 million Longhill Health Care Centre

Completion of 5th LIFT centre heralds milestone of £20m investment into Hull's healthcare facilities

It marks the milestone of a £20m investment into the city's healthcare facilities.

The pioneering £4m Longhill Health Care Centre is the fifth of seven community health centres to be developed by Hull Citycare, in the first tranche of Hull's NHS LIFT plan ( Local Improvement Finance Trust ) , as part of the government's national initiative designed to deliver a step change in primary health care.  

The state-of-the-art facility - based in Shannon Road, Longhill, east Hull - completes the estate's wider community picture neighbouring the existing primary school, Sure Start, community and sports centres and local shops. 

Longhill's completion follows on only a month after celebrating the completion of Park Health Care Centre, in Holderness Road, eastHull, joining already operational centres across the city in Anlaby Road and Alexandra Road, both west Hull, and the Marfleet centre, in Preston Road, eastHull.

The facility will be home to four GP practices, with fully-equipped clinical and treatment rooms. Local residents will also benefit from a pharmacy and a public library on site.

Representatives from the NHS and Hull Citycare, as well as the area's councillors, are due to attend a preview event on Friday, August 17, to take a closer look at the centre, before it officially opens to the public on September 3.

Hull Citycare - which is a true public private shareholding partnership between Hull Teaching Primary Care Trust (PCT) and city company the Sewell Group - is one of 49 LIFT companies in the country.

Its flagship project is set to be the Orchard Park Centre Neighbourhood Integrated Service Centre, the seventh and largest centre joining up both health and local authority services under one roof.- work is due to start in December. Meanwhile the £3m Calvert Lane Health Care Centre, in west Hull, will be complete in late 2007. 

Kath Lavery, chair of Hull Teaching PCT, said: "The completion of the Longhill Health Care Centre marks a real milestone for us - this remarkable facility is the fifth to open through Hull Citycare in under three years, which is a great achievement for the partnership.

"As both a provider and commissioner of local healthcare, the PCT's priority is to ensure people are able to access their health services in an environment which is clean, modern and fit for the job. Not only does Longhill allow us to do this, but it will also bring some services much closer to home for patients, making access to high quality healthcare much more convenient too.

"Now that it's complete, we are delighted with Longhill Health Care Centre and, as well as improving the care environment for patients using the facility, we hope that the centre will also make a significant contribution to regeneration within this particular part of the city."

Charles Lewis, Citycare chair, added: "The opening of this, the fifth superb healthcare facility in the city is yet another example from the highly commended Hull Citycare - a partnership between the Hull Teaching PCT with their private partner the Sewell Group. It will provide local residents with easy access to a broad range of the highest standards of healthcare in their locality and lead to regeneration in the community."

Paul Sewell, managing director of the Sewell Group, said: "It is now accepted around the country that any area which has a LIFT company and programme has a vital delivery vehicle for regeneration.

"It is gratifying that ours in Hull is seen as a leading partnership of its type and is making a real difference in communities like Longhill."

Longhill Health Care Centre has enjoyed some achievements during the construction phase. The installation of the roof provided an interesting challenge, with its curved rood which saw 4.5km of aluminum roofing hoisted into place, necessitating the hire of the largest crane in the region.

Children from LonghillPrimary School, situated next to the site, have been closely watching from a specially constructed viewing platform, as the building has risen from the ground. Even from inside the school building, they have been watching the project's progress through a webcam provided by Hull Citycare.