NHS Coventry has unveiled exciting plans to build a new £20m health hub in the city centre.
The new health facility will house a number of GP practices, the city's Walk in Centre, Out of Hours service and a wide range of community and city-wide services currently based on the Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital site as well as a pharmacy, community café and space for a range of clinics and services.
The five storey, 9000m2 health centre will be based on the site of the current Hillfields Health Centre and Russell Street car park. Pending planning approval, work is scheduled to start on site in November 2009 and will be open by the winter of 2011. It will be served by excellent travel links, with regular busses running past the site from Pool Meadow.
NHS Coventry Joint Chief Executive, Mike Attwood, said: "This new facility will provide the opportunity for NHS staff from different disciplines to work together to provide first class services, from first class premises, to all members of the local community. We are delighted to now be in a position to move this long awaited project forward. The people of Coventry deserve excellent health care in excellent facilities, and we aim to deliver this aspiration in partnership by 2011.
"There are currently more than 15,000 people registered with doctors in the Hillfields area who will be moving into this new facility as well as people from across the city who will access services in an improved and convenient location. "
NHS Coventry Chair, Alison Gingell, added: "The people of Coventry can now look forward to new, improved and upgraded facilities that will also have the added advantage of aiding regeneration of the Hillfields community. This project will be a major boost to health services in the city and we know it is something that local people have wanted to see for a long time. Our vision is to create a facility that captures the spirit of progress and innovation synonymous with the ever changing face of Coventry and reflecting the dynamic nature of modern healthcare."
The project is being delivered by Coventry Care Partnership through a Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) partnership approach - a private and public partnership working together to build patient-focused primary care facilities for the twenty-first century.
George Marsh, Chairman of Coventry Care Partnership, which has also delivered high quality health centres at Keresley and Longford, said: "This project is an excellent example of the work the LIFT model is able to deliver. By bringing together all of the various expertise from both the public and private sector we will be able to give the people of Coventry a building that they can be proud of. Coventry Care Partnership is committed to the delivery of excellent modern healthcare needs, which this building will support. This has been a true partnership."
The health centre will be key to the ongoing delivery of the Swanswell Initiative, the biggest single regeneration project in Coventry. It covers more than 160 acres, and aims to provide new and better homes, job opportunities and community and health facilities, as well as educational, transport and environmental improvements.
Councillor Gary Ridley, Cabinet Member (City Development), at Coventry City Council, has welcomed the news. He said: "This announcement is yet another step in the regneration of our city, hot on the heels of the city centre masterplan. The health centre which will be at the heart of the Swanswell Initiative will also create yet another fantastic new building alongside the £50 million city college and the planned new £28m Sidney Stringer Academy school.
"The health centre will provide much needed state of the art health facilities for local people and for new residents in the area. We are delighted to be a partner in this exciting project and look forward to seeing it take shape."
Dr Andy Beaumont is one of the GPs from the Hillfields Health Centre due to relocate to the new building. He said: "It will be exciting for the population of central Coventry to be part of this major redevelopment. It is fitting that investment in health and education has been placed in the heart of Hillfields, with first class medical facilities matched to first class primary care. The state of the art health community will be ready to anticipate future health challenges and be prepared to deliver quality healthcare to the people of Coventry for many years to come."
Staff working across the range of services are looking forward to delivering a first class service, from first class premises. Podiatrist Leanne Coupe, a practicing clinician who will work out of the new facility, said: "The new City Centre Facility will be a great improvement for both Coventry Community Health Service staff and our service users. This new building will have purposely designed clinical rooms to suit the very specific service needs of our patients. It will bring together clinical teams of similar functions, such as physiotherapy and podiatry, which will enhance our working and enable us to provide an holistic care for service users. I believe this is a wonderful opportunity for us to give the people of Coventry the facility and services that they deserve."
Cllr Joe Clifford, Chair of Coventry City Council's Health Overview and Scrutiny Board, said: "This announcement fulfils a long commitment to improve and develop health services in the city centre and I am pleased to see this work move forward. City centre health provision has been an issue the Scrutiny Committee has been involved in for a long time and we will continue to take a keen interest as the NHS, its partners and local people see this project through to completion."
NHS Coventry is the public facing name for Coventry Teaching Primary Care Trust.
LIFT - (Local Improvement Finance Trust) made up of 20% NHS Coventry, 20% Community Health Partnership (Department of Health) and 60% is private sector which is known as the gbconsortium, which is made up of 45% Assura, 45% Galliford Try and 10% Sapphire
The GP practices moving into the new building will be those currently based at the Hillfields Health Centre in Howard Street (Dr Agarwal, Dr Bland, Dr Beaumont, Dr Pai, Dr Roy, Dr Downing) also Dr Jayratnam's practice from Swanswell Medical Centre, St Marks Annexe, Bird Street and Dr Jotangia's practice from George Eliot Medical Centre, 216 Foleshill Road.
The services planned for the facility include: Phlebotomy; Clinical Assessment Service (CAS); Genito Urinary medicine (GUM); Contraception and Sexual Health Service (CASH); Adult Physiotherapy; Podiatry (Foot Health); Adult Speech and Language; Psychological Services (Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust); Community Dentistry. Clinic space will be available for other services such as quit smoking.