A new health centre in East Yorkshire has opened its doors to a warm welcome by clinicians and patients of the surgeries it has replaced.
The Willand Primary Care Centre at Anlaby is seen as a model of best practice by health professionals, with the old surgeries in Willerby and Swanland having made way for a bright, modern building with planned services and facilities catering for more clinical and administrative staff to support patient healthcare for years to come.
Mandy Edwards, Executive Manager of the new centre, said: “It has futureproofed our services and has been designed with the needs of patients at heart. In conjunction with other service providers we are in a position now to develop and deliver services and help to meet the needs of patients as the community changes and grows.”
Philip Lovel, Managing Director of Lovel Developments, said: “We said right at the start that this is what we wanted to deliver and we are very pleased to see that it has come to fruition and is in use.”
Discussions about the need for a new centre date back to 2005 and the idea first gained approval from the Primary Care Trust in 2008. But it took time and several failed attempts to identify a suitable site and it wasn’t until 2014 that Lovel Developments held its first consultation on the project.
Lovel Developments acquired the 25-acre site in Lowfield Road, Anlaby, in 2015 and proceeded with other elements of the project. A clinic for the Spire Hull and East Riding Hospital opened in 2016 and the construction of 287 new homes was completed in 2020.
A strategic case for the health centre put forward by Willerby and Swanland Surgery was approved by the East Riding of Yorkshire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in December 2018 and funding was finally cleared by the CCG in September 2020. Hull-based construction company Hobson & Porter began building the new centre in March 2021.
With a construction cost of £3.5m build and investment of tens of thousands of pounds by the practice partners in new equipment and facilities, the new site provides 15 consulting rooms.
Among the specialist services which can now be delivered are health education, a muscular skeletal practitioner, a mental health and wellbeing coach, community link workers, carers and bereavement support.
After patient feedback, communications have been modernised with a new telephone system and a self-check-in system for patients, with the aim of creating more availability to deal with patient queries at the reception desk. The links with the local community are highlighted by a map which has been etched onto a glass wall in the mezzanine waiting room
Accessibility has improved with the provision of designated parking bays, accessible toilets, baby changing and feeding facilities and the installation of a lift. There is also easier access for the ambulance service.
Mrs Edwards said: “The new building will support us in delivering a mix of appointment types, be it over the phone, face to face or video consultation according to the needs of the appointment and patient preference. We are also able to provide access to IT facilities for people who don’t have them at home in order to support consultations with secondary care providers.”
“There are about 30 people working here altogether including six GPs and we are continuing to develop the team and the services. We hope the building will help us to attract new staff by offering a range of services, enhance patient care and support our community.”
Richard Dodson, Chief Finance Officer of the NHS East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “This newPrimary Care Centre has been in the planning and development stage for a number of years and we are delighted that the plans have now become reality.
“The new, modern facilities will enable the local population to continue to access a high standard of care and the additional space offers welcome potential for growth and expansion of both services and workforce.”
Mr Lovel said: “We have completed similar projects in the past and we have others in the pipeline that will provide further new and improved health facilities in this area and further afield.
“The provision of new health and housing developments is one of our specialist areas and it shows other practices what we are capable of delivering – it has already attracted significant attention from people who are interested in similar projects and who see this as a model of best practice.
“Hobson & Porter and the rest of the development team have worked very hard with us to deliver a first class facility.”
Joe Booth, Business Development Director of Hobson & Porter, said: “Collaboration has been key. We built the centre at a time of extraordinary market challenges for the construction sector in terms of the availability and cost of materials and it would have been considerably more difficult if we had been working with unfamiliar partners. It’s another landmark NHS asset for the Humber region and another milestone for us.”