28 August 2007,

Wolverhampton LIFT gets the go ahead for £60 million tranche of schemes

Windfall for health and care centres

A pounds 60 MILLION scheme to bring health and social care closer to home has been given the goahead by the Government.

Six new primary and community care centres will be built across after the Treasury approved a Private Finance Initiative.

The project forms part of a wider pounds 90 million programme of investment in 15 schemes to deliver health and social care services across the city over the next five years.

Centres to be built under the pounds 60 million scheme at Showell Park, Low Hill, Bilston and on the site of West Park Rehabilitation Hospital will offer GP services, community nursing, therapies, social care, day opportunities and information services, plus beds to support people leaving hospital and respite care services.

Other centres at Showell Circus, Low Hill, the Portobello regeneration site and Whitmore Reans Health Centre will house mental health, social workers and community nursing teams and offer day opportunities and therapy, consultation and treatment rooms.

The six purpose-built facilities are being developed through the NHS Local Improvement Finance Trust, a partnership between the public and private sectors.

PFI funding of pounds 30 million will be matched by a similar investment from the PCT and construction of the first site is expected to be completed in 2010.

Wolverhampton City Council's cabinet member for adults, Geoff Foster, said: "The range of services we will be providing in the new buildings is unprecedented in the city and represents our commitment to providing comprehensive and accessible care, support and health services.

"We are delighted the Treasury has endorsed our vision, which will revolutionise the way care is given to people."

PCT chairman Barry Picken said: "This is tremendously exciting for and will make an enormous difference to local care services and how they are delivered to people and communities."