06 August 2008,

Planning permission granted for multi million pound medical centre development

Planning permission granted for multi million pound medical centre development - 7th August 2008

A landmark health construction project for Tipton is a step closer. Planners have recently approved a brand new £7m health centre following an application submitted by Sandwell Local Improvement Finance Trust Company (LIFT), a local development company, which will build and maintain the new building for Sandwell Primary Care Trust (PCT) under a long term public private partnership agreement.

The ambitious 3,050 square metre state-of-the-art facility will be built on a brownfield site on St Marks Road, and will replace the existing but outdated Glebefields health centre situated nearby. It is set to benefit over 35,000 local people providing significant health care services on their doorstep.

Building work is expected to start early in the new year, and will take 18 months to complete, with the building due to open its doors to patients in summer 2010. In the meantime the existing GP surgeries and primary care services will be run as usual from the existing health centre.

The proposed two-storey health centre will house an expanded range of primary health services including three GP practices (Glebefields Practice and the Swanpool Medical Centre that currently contains two practices led by Drs Shairma and Leadbetter), community clinics, dental and foot health services,  a GP referral centre and a minor treatment suite along with a pharmacy and opticians.

Mike Nicklin, general manager of Sandwell LIFT Company says: "We're delighted with the news our that our planning application has been approved. This development will be a huge benefit to the local community and we are proud to be associated with such a  project, our biggest development to date.

"Not only is it great news for local people, it is a flagship project for Sandwell LIFT Company and an important part of our £60m programme of investment in health and social care facilities across the area."

Richard Nugent, chair of Sandwell PCT, said: "We really want to build a healthier future for the people in Sandwell, so this is a great step forward for the area. This new facility is set to provide better access to a range of community health facilities, all within a modern and welcoming environment closer to home."

For further information please contact:

Jo Garner, PR manager, Sandwell LIFTCo on m: 07979 800 897 or by email: jo.garner@primaryplus-online.co.uk

Picture caption

Artist impression of what the new Glebefields Health Centre could look like

Notes to editors

Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) is a government initiative to supplement investment in primary and social care and community premises nationwide, some of which are in real need of modernisation.

This is being achieved locally through Sandwell LIFT Company Ltd., a public private partnership which is owned by private sector partner Primary Plus (a

joint venture between John Laing and Bank of Scotland), Sandwell Primary Care Trust along with Community Health Partnerships.

Sandwell LIFTCo has four operational schemes:

·       Birmingham Road Health Centre - a £1.6m primary care building housing a number of health and social care services including minor surgery, a pharmacy and meeting rooms

·       Oldbury Health Centre - a £4.6m 'one stop shop' incorporating a broad range of community health and social care services including dental, podiatry, training rooms and a pharmacy

·       Whiteheath Primary Care Centre - a £1.6m primary care building housing a number of health and social care services including GPs, community nursing, health visitors, podiatry and mental health

·       Yew Tree Healthy Living Centre - a £2.5m state-of-the-art medical centre housing a range of primary care services

Another facility is being developed:

·       Oldbury Health and Social Wellbeing Centre -an ambitious social care, health and leisure facility for Sandwell for Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council and Sandwell Primary Care Trust

In addition, the LIFT Company is planning further waves of developments totaling £60m which have been identified in the Strategic Services Development Plan (SSDP). Up to 12 health and neighbourhood centre developments could be built

More information is available at www.sandwelllift.co.uk

John Laing is a specialist provider of facilities in the PFI and PPP markets with a long-term perspective and approach. The company manages and delivers projects from planning and funding through to design, construction and operation.