Whitton health and social care centre to open in 2012

A brand new, state-of-the-art health and social care centre is being built in Whitton, in the London Borough of Richmond and will be open in the spring of 2012. The project will be delivered by developer South West London Health Partnerships on behalf of NHS Richmond, and construction work will begin within the month.

The project has been developed by South West London Health Partnerships under the NHS LIFT (Local Improvement Finance Trust) initiative. The company is a public/private partnership which includes primary care trusts in South West London as well as Community Health Partnerships; the private sector partner is Fulcrum.

Following a major review by NHS Richmond, a clear need was identified to improve access to health and social care services in the area and modernise facilities to comply with current standards and health care practices and deliver the Government’s integrated care agenda.

The new centre, which achieved planning permission in May 2010, has been designed to provide a number of essential medical services in one place. It will be used to relocate two existing local GP practices; Crane Park Medical Centre and Jubilee Avenue Surgery, and will accommodate an NHS dentist, long-term condition management services, physiotherapy, podiatry and community health services and staying healthy programmes. It will also provide office space for the Integrated Community Health and Social Care Team, a partnership between Richmond Council and Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust, who support older and disabled people in the Twickenham area.

The new centre has been designed by partner architects Penoyre & Prasad, whose previous involvement under the LIFT initiative with Building Better Health includes The Heart of Hounslow for Hounslow PCT, Gracefield Gardens Health and Social Care Centre for NHS Lambeth, Green Wrythe Lane for NHS Sutton & Merton and Jubilee Gardens Health Centre and Library and Grand Union Village for NHS Ealing.  It will be built by main contractor Willmott Dixon, Building Better Health construction partner.

The 1,800m2, three-storey building will be located on the junction of Percy Road and Hospital Bridge Road on the site of the former Heathfield Library. Using the local approach of providing several key services under one roof, the new centre will provide high quality facilities, exceptional working conditions and the flexibility and adaptability to meet changing needs, aiding communications between professionals, reducing patient travel time and improving the quality of care provided.

“Whitton Health and Social Care Centre will contribute to the delivery of first class health and social care services in the community and will significantly improve access to high quality local services for local people,” commented Sian Bates, Chair of NHS South West London. “The centre will provide the opportunity to access GP, dental, mental health and other therapy services within one modern, sustainable and purpose-built building.”

Cllr Nicola Urquhart, Strategic Cabinet Member for Adult Services, Health and Housing commented, “Richmond Council is dedicated to working in partnership with NHS Richmond to develop the new centre of excellence for health and social care in Whitton. The centre, which will house a range of vital frontline services under one roof, in a state-of-the-art environment, will ensure an improvement in the quality of health and social care services in the area. This has been in the pipeline for a number of years now and it is excellent to see it finally coming to fruition.”

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