Two primary care health centres, purpose-built to serve the health and well-being needs of thousands of local people, were officially opened by the Deputy Mayor of Southend, Cllr Christopher Walker on Monday 11 November.
The North Road Primary Care Centre and the Valkyrie Road Primary Care Centre in Westcliff-on Sea have both been developed by Prydium, a public private partnership involving Community Health Partnerships (also Head Tenant for the two buildings), gbpartnerships and Galliford Try. NHS Property Services, provide centre management services at the two sites. Guests included Katherine Kirk MBE, former chair of South East Essex Primary Care Trust and local officials.
The official opening ceremony took place at the North Road centre and included the burial of a time capsule which was put together by local artist Dave Taylor. The time capsule incorporates drawings and writing by children from 6 local schools; St Bernard's, Barons Court, Westborough, Milton Hall, St Helen's and St Mary's. The children were asked to describe their lives now and to imagine what their lives would be like in 25 years’ time. There were also contributions to the time capsule from staff working on the construction of the building and numerous items from contemporary life such as newspapers, magazines and currency.
Katherine Kirk said: “Today is very important landmark. Everyone who has been involved in the projects has been working with one goal in mind: to provide residents of both Westcliff and Southend with a more efficient, effective health service. It is wonderful to see that this work has paid off and to see how local residents are benefiting from new fit for purpose buildings that offer a greater range of health services under one roof.”
Dr George, GP at the Central Surgery operating out of North Road Primary Care Centre commented: “I am very happy to say on behalf of our Practice that we are all pleased to be in this modern Primary Care Centre with all the facilities available, to enable us to give the best care to our Patients in this area. Our Patients are delighted with the new premises. We are getting very positive feedback from them.”
Dr Sarah Raper, Community Health Partnerships’ Executive Director said: “Our overall aim is to create the highest quality primary and community facilities that serve the needs of local communities and contribute towards improving people’s health and wellbeing. Combined, the centres reflect an investment of almost £10m in local health services. This investment has only been possible because of the Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) programme.”
Kate Halliday, Estates Programme Manager for NHS Property Services, said: "We are very pleased to see these two brand new primary care centres in Westcliff fully operational and open to patients. These fabulous centres have been a long time in the making and, as someone who has been involved in this project for many years (firstly in the Primary Care Trust and now in NHS Property Services Ltd) it's great to see how they are benefitting the residents of Westcliff and the staff who provide excellent health services from them.. Absolutely everyone involved should be very proud of this achievement which will continue to help improve health services for all the residents of Westcliff.”
Galliford Try Partnerships were the main contractor responsible for the construction works on the two buildings. The 2,081sq m North Road Primary Care Centre offers a range of health and wellbeing services including:
The centre will also host Health Watch meetings, as well as training sessions for various groups, including fire warden training and school nurse training. Meanwhile, Valkyrie Road Primary Care Centre is a 2,249sq m facility. Its services include: