19 March 2018, North

Work has begun on the new £12 million Primary Care Centre in Barrow, Cumbria

Photo credit: Chapman Brown Photography. Partners and CHP gathered on the 5,000sqm site

Work has begun on a new £12 million Primary Care Centre in Barrow, Cumbria. The facility will be situated on the site of the former Alfred Barrow School and a site visit by local people and partners involved in the project marked the beginning of building work. 

The new centre will bring together primary and community care services and will help reduce unnecessary hospital admissions.  

The new BREEAM excellent facility is a 5,000m2 site developed through a Public Private Partnership Programme (Local Improvement Finance Trust - LIFT) led by Community Health Partnerships Ltd (CHP), working with its local joint venture partner eLIFT Cumbria Ltd. 

 This is an exciting project aimed at developing healthcare facilities that support the delivery of integrated care whilst creating an innovative workspace which departs from more conventional office layouts to help people focus on new ways of working and collaboration.    

CHP’s Development Director, Eugene Prinsloo said “Our purpose is to improve patient access to primary and community care through investment in high quality health facilities. CHP is proud to be able to bring local services together, in a modern building that supports modern healthcare delivery. The people of Barrow will see the benefits of how public private partnership will help transform their health and wellbeing closer to home”.   

The project is one of the first delivered since the 2013 health care reforms. This is a very complex environment and challenging time for the NHS. The achievement of this financial close is testament to the persistence and commercial solutions brought by eLIFT Cumbria, and the focus on a common outcome that public private partnership brings.   

Completion is planned for 2019 when the Centre will house GP surgeries and community health services and preserve the oldest part of the Victorian Alfred Barrow School building. There will be easy access to the building which will have ample parking.

The Centre will bring together the primary and community health services, provided by three GP Practices (Abbey Road Surgery / Atkinson Health Centre / Risedale Surgery), Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust and will also house facilities for North West Ambulance Service and BAE Systems.  The new facility is a 5,000 sq. m site.

eLIFT Developments Director, Tristan Firth said: “As the Developer we know how important this new health centre is to the people of Barrow so we are delighted to be able to make a start on construction of such a high-quality scheme and to give the old school building such a worthwhile new lease of life.”

NHS Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group Vice Chair and Barrow GP Dr Geoff Jolliffe said: “I’m thrilled that we’re all set for the latest stage of this exciting new health service project which has been many years in the making and will be a huge boost for the people of Barrow.

“Many organisations have been working hard to get to where we are today.  I look forward to watching the building progress and welcoming patients and the public to a fabulous new facility next year”.