Margaret Hodge, MP declaresPorters Avenue Health Centre open

Posted on May 13, 2009. Filed under: News stories, Press/News Releases, Providers | Tags: |

NHS Barking & Dagenham | Press Release | 13 May 2009

After several years of preparation and planning, Dagenham’s brand new Porters Avenue Health Centre was declared well and truly open for business. Margaret Hodge, MP for Barking, performed the opening ceremony, unveiling a plaque marking the occasion.

Mrs Hodge was joined by Stephen Langford, Chief Executive, and Maureen Worby, Chair of NHS Barking and Dagenham, lead officers and councillors from the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, Paul Jobson, the Chief Executive of Barking & Havering LIFTCo (Local Improvement Finance Trust), and Mr Jack Samuels, one of the first patients to be seen at the new centre, among many more.

NHS Barking and Dagenham commissioned Porters Avenue Health Centre through LIFTCo and it is home to a wide range of NHS and local authority services, including a GP service provided by Concordia Health. Services already in place include physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and specialist teams provide support and treatment to people with long term conditions such as chronic heart disease, respiratory disease and diabetes.

The centre’s distinctive modern look owes much to the artwork on the pillars and throughout the building. These were the result of a series of workshops where artists from Studio 3 Arts worked with pupils from St Teresa Primary School, students from Sydney Russell Secondary School, clients with learning difficulties from the Maple Centre, mental health service users, members of a local Age Concern group and the general public.

Margaret Hodge, MP for Barking, said: “I am absolutely delighted to be invited to open Porters Avenue Health Centre. It houses a wide range of services, including a new GP practice and specialist mental health and community services which demonstrates how the local authority and the local NHS can work together delivering services residents want on their doorstep. The community services include teams supporting people with long-term debilitating conditions and will provide physiotherapy for those who need it. I am especially pleased that the local community has been involved every step of the way – including in creating the wonderful, bright artwork that gives the building its distinctive look. It’s a very welcome addition to local health services and testimony to the efforts of those who have been committed to improving healthcare provision in the borough.”

Stephen Langford, Chief Executive of NHS Barking and Dagenham, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has had a hand in shaping this modern new health centre, from public consultation several years ago through to construction, design and the superb and unique artwork that brightens the whole building. It’s a place that is welcoming for the people who use it, patients and staff alike.”

Mr Jack Samuels, a Dagenham resident and one of the first patients to use the centre, said: “I’ve been in various places for treatment over the years and this is lovely. The staff are friendly and helpful and it’s much easier for me than going to a big hospital – you don’t have crowds of people to walk through. As it’s on my doorstep it’s much handier for my wife Peggy, who is my lifeline, and takes me to all my appointments.”

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