09 October 2008,

Southern Derbyshire LIFT reaches financial close for Ashbourne's £24m new community hospital and health centre

Southern Derbyshire LIFT reaches financial close for Ashbourne's £24m new community hospital and health centre - 9th October 2008

A landmark multi-million pound health construction project for Ashbourne has been given the final financial go ahead, clearing the way for construction work to start in November.

Financial close has been reached, meaning that contracts have been signed for the 7,000 square metre state-of-the-art Ashbourne health campus development, which will be built and maintained by Southern Derbyshire Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) Company, for Derbyshire County Primary Care Trust (PCT) under a long-term public private partnership agreement.

The LIFT Company is a joint venture between the local NHS, Community Health Partnerships and Primary Plus, the LIFT Company's private sector partner. Primary Plus, one of the leading investors in the national LIFT initiative, provides equity investment, project management and other resources to the project and has secured bank finance to help fund the scheme.

Set to benefit 35,000 local people, the community hospital and health centre will be built on a brownfield site adjacent to Clifton Road and will replace the Ashbourne Health Centre on Compton Street and St Oswald's Community Hospital in the Derbyshire town.

Southern Derbyshire LIFT Company will oversee the building work and will maintain the new health development over the next 30 years. The building, which is yet to be named, is due to open its doors to patients in late 2010.

John Cassidy, chief executive of Primary Plus said: "We are delighted to be involved in such a landmark health scheme, which will provide outstanding healthcare facilities and improve the lives of the local community."

Brian Ibell, Public Sector Director on the LIFT Company Board said: "The exchange of contracts is a significant milestone for this £24m development, which is our largest to date. Reaching financial close means we can make a prompt start to the construction work. Ashbourne residents will have the modern, purpose built community hospital and health centre they deserve, open for business in 2010."

Tracy Allen, director of Derbyshire Community Health Services at Derbyshire County PCT said: "We're delighted that this scheme has been given the financial go-ahead following years of extensive planning. We'd like to thank everyone involved for all their hard work in helping us to achieve this important landmark in the development of new community-based NHS health services which are set to benefit the local population for many years to come."

The three-storey centre will house a 24 bed community hospital designed for rehabilitation and care of the elderly, with four bed bays and single rooms with en-suite bathrooms. It will also include physiotherapy and occupational therapy departments along with diagnostics (x-ray and ultrasound).

In a separate part of the building, the two-storey health centre will house a range of healthcare services including five GPs (Dr MacLeod and Partners practice), community nursing, health visitors, chiropody, podiatry, community clinic and phlebotomy, along with outpatient services.

A pharmacy will be relocating from the town centre and it will have a café and secure car parking. The grounds will be landscaped so as to be in keeping with the surrounding area.

For further info please contact:

Karina Chilton, Marketing and Communications Manager, Southern Derbyshire LIFT Company
M: 07917 839 499, email: karina.chilton@primaryplus-online.co.uk

Note 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.

About Southern Derbyshire LIFT Company

Southern Derbyshire LIFT Company Ltd is a public private partnership which is owned by private sector partner Primary Plus Ltd (a joint venture between John Laing plc and Bank of Scotland), two local primary care trusts (Derby City and Derbyshire County), along with the Department of Health's Community Health Partnerships.

Southern Derbyshire LIFTCo has seven operational schemes:

- Long Eaton Health Centre - a £9.6m 'one stop shop' incorporating a broad range of primary and secondary care services

- Eden Surgery - a £750,000 practice extension ad refurbishment at Ilkeston

- The Lighthouse - a £2.5m respite care facility for disabled children in Derby

- Swadlincote Primary Care Centre  - a £4.7m facility housing PCT and GP services

- Alfreton Primary Care Centre - a £7m medical centre housing PCT and GP services

- Village Community Medical Centre - a £4.1m health centre in Derby housing GP and PCT services

- Coleman Health Centre - a £5.5m health centre in Derby housing a range of GP and community health services

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

About Primary Plus 

Primary Plus Ltd is a joint venture company established by Bank of Scotland Corporate and John Laing Plc, to participate in the Government's Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) scheme, a major initiative designed to stimulate investment in local primary and social care facilities.

Established in 2002, Primary Plus and its supply chain brings together some of the UK's leading health and social care sector specialists with a team of experts in development, management and funding of public-private partnerships.

Primary Plus Ltd have six operational LIFT companies nationally; Sandwell, Greater Nottingham, North Nottinghamshire, MAST (Manchester, Salford and Trafford), Leicester and Southern Derbyshire.

The Ashbourne health campus is the 43rd project for Primary Plus, representing nearly £300m of investment in primary care across 6 lift companies.

For more information see www.primaryplus-online.co.uk

About Derbyshire County Primary Care Trust (PCT)

Derbyshire County Primary Care Trust (PCT) is the NHS body responsible for improving and protecting the health and well-being of the people of Derbyshire.

The Trust was established on 1 October 2006, following the merger of six former primary care trusts in Derbyshire (Amber Valley PCT, Chesterfield PCT, Derbyshire Dales and South Derbyshire PCT, Erewash PCT, High Peak and Dales PCT, North Eastern Derbyshire PCT).

The Trust is the eighth largest primary care trust in the country, and currently serves a population of 712,000. 

Further information about the Trust can be found at www.derbyshirecountypct.nhs.uk