£5m health centre plan is unveiled

Posted on December 7, 2009. Filed under: LIFT, News stories |

Birmingham Mail | By Steve Bradley | Wolverhampton and Walsall NHS | 7 December 2009

MULTI-million pound plans are on the table to create a state-of-the-art health centre to help people in the Black Country with serious health problems.

The £5 million centre – on the site of a former public house in Heath Town – will bring together existing GP surgeries in the area as well as providing a wide range of 21st century health services for all the family under one roof.

The site of the former Duke of York pub in Wednesfield Road has been purchased from Wolverhampton City Council by Healthcare Improvement Partnership Ltd, an initiative of the public-private Wolverhampton and Walsall NHS Local Improvement Finance Trust company.

Dr Adrian Phillips, director of public health for Wolverhampton, said: “Such a centre is desperately needed in a part of the city where many people are experiencing serious health problems.”

He said figures showed that men in Heath Town had a life expectancy of three-and-a-half years less than the average for the rest of the city – which itself is two years less than the national average, that the area’s mortality rate was 50 per cent higher than the overall average for Wolverhampton and the area’s teenage pregnancy rate was three times the national average.

Dr Phillips added: “The majority of GPs in the area operate from premises that are inappropriate for delivering 21st century healthcare and do not enable practices to develop further services which are available to patients in other parts of the city.

“Bringing together the smaller GP practices into one centre will co-ordinate care in a way that will benefit thousands of local residents and be a fantastic asset for the area.”

Neil Nisbet, director of finance for the PCT, said: “We have been searching for a suitable site in Heath Town for almost three and originally proposed to build the new centre on the site of the nearby Manhattan pub.

“However, after listening to the views of local people we agreed to investigate the use of the Duke of York site and are delighted contracts have now been exchanged and that the design of the building can get underway.”

Subject to planning approval Wolverhampton and Walsall LIFT Company hope to commence construction on the site in 2011 with the new centre due to open in 2012.

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