Highways works have been completed to pave the way for a new £8 million state-of-the-art health hub to benefit thousands of patients in west Hull.
The new West Hull Health Hub will replace the dated Springhead Medical Centre, which has operated at full capacity from facilities which are no longer fit for purpose for almost 70 years.
As the current premises do not offer scope for expansion, primary care and clinical activity is restricted and remains limited to GP services, leaving the practice unable to accommodate the anticipated increase in patient numbers in this area of Hull and facing major challenges to integrate services.
Due to the changing landscape for delivery of private finance models across the UK, the development is being taken forward using the third party developer approach by health estates specialist Citycare, and investor Community Health Partnerships (CHP), on behalf of NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). This is the first time this model of delivery has been utilised to deliver health estates transformations in Hull.
Citycare has worked with Hull City Council and its highways and traffic management teams to ensure the road did not need to be fully closed after listening to resident’s concerns and work is underway to widen the road and create an entrance to the site before construction of the centre can begin in the coming weeks.
David Barley, Development Manager at Citycare, said: “We completely understood local concerns about the road being fully closed and did everything we could to ensure this didn’t need to happen.
“The flexible approach by our team, NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the practice enabled this development to progress despite these challenging times, and changes to how these schemes are procured.”
Citycare’s Independent Chair Alan Johnson, who is also former Health Secretary and Hull West and Hessle MP, wrote to the health authorities to seek funding for a new premises on behalf of Springhead Medical Centre in his role as MP seven years ago after witnessing the challenges the practice faced due to its poor facilities.
He said: “This was, and still remains, one of the best practices in the city, yet it works from a row of terraced housing which predates the creation of the NHS.
“Clinicians and patients have had to cope with cramped conditions, poor facilities and the complete absence of parking spaces.
“It has been a long journey with several false starts, but at last a new, modern facility in the far west of the city is turning from dream to reality and we’re really pleased to bring this scheme forward using a new development and finance approach, which has been important in the current economic climate.
“In the midst of this terrible Covid-19 crisis, there is at least one piece of good news. Practitioners and patients in this part of Hull will at last have the excellent facilities they deserve.
“The West Hull Health Hub adds to the existing Citycare portfolio, which, over the last 15 years, has enabled significant benefits for patients across the city.”
The new two-storey building will have 32 clinical rooms, including GP and nurse consulting rooms, treatment rooms, clinical support spaces and office accommodation, as well as a reception and waiting area, a wheelchair accessible lift, baby changing area and buggy parking, a pharmacy and adjacent car park.
Citycare has already delivered 13 health centres across the city on behalf of NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), including the recent Jean Bishop Integrated Care Centre.
Erica Daley, Chief Operating Officer for NHS Hull CCG, which is responsible for commissioning primary care services across the city, said: “I am pleased to reach this important step, with the patients of Modality Partnership Hull who currently access GP services at Springhead Medical Centre moving closer to receiving services in a purpose-built modern facility that meets the 21st century standards for building design.
“The NHS Long Term Plan includes the ambition for an extended primary care clinical workforce, and Modality Partnership would have been restricted in delivering this at the existing premises on Willerby Road and Hotham Road South.
“We are delighted that the new health centre will bring together a broader range of clinicians and substantially increase clinical space. This will provide an opportunity to offer a wider range of services which will be very much welcomed by patients in this part of West Hull.”
The new health centre will be part of Modality Partnership’s Hull Division which has a combined total of more than 60,000 patients and four sites across the city. Modality Partnership also work in collaboration with four other practices in Hull as part of a Primary Care Network.
Dr Elizabeth Dobson, an Executive Partner at Modality Partnership Hull, who is currently based at Springhead Medical Centre, said: “The pandemic has highlighted the constraints of the current premises, with the requirements for social distancing to maintain appropriate infection control. The clinical rooms are smaller than recommended and the access for wheelchairs and prams challenging.
“As primary care transforms to meet the needs of patients, the people and places we need to deliver care have changed. The roles within primary care have expanded with practice nurses, health care assistants, clinical practitioners, paramedics, pharmacists, social prescribers forming part of the team. We provide holistic, proactive and preventative services to patients and take the time to address all aspects of health and wellbeing.
“Both our staff and our patients will benefit from care being provided in a safe, spacious working environment that will allow us to expand the range of services we offer.”
Mark Day, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive at CHP, said: “CHP is pleased to have supported Citycare in the preparations and development of this scheme, which will provide excellent facilities for the people of West Hull.
“As shareholders in Citycare, we have directly invested in the scheme which will replace outdated premises, support the integration of services in the community, and provide a better environment for patients and those who care for them. All of these benefits are core to CHP’s vision for improving health and supporting the NHS at a local level.”
The health centre will be built by Sewell Construction, which has worked alongside Citycare in the delivery of 13 other health buildings in the city.
Construction is due to commence on site in November and is expected to take a year to complete.