Building work to start on Sparkhill Primary Care Centre

Residents of Sparkhill, Birmingham are now only 18 months away from benefiting from a new £10 million state-of-the-art health centre.

Work to construct Sparkhill Primary Care Centre will begin on 31st August following Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust (HoBtPCT), Birmingham and Solihull (BaS) LIFT Co and Prime plc successfully reaching the final stages of approval for the centre.

The new three-storey centre, based on Stratford Road, will increase GP services in the area and give local residents’ access to a wide range of healthcare services to help them lead healthier lives. This is part of HoBtPCT’s ‘Right Care, Right Here’ programme which aims to provide improved healthcare to Heart of Birmingham residents by delivering services in high quality environments closer to where they live.

As well as offering purpose built accommodation for Springfield Surgery and Oakwood Road Surgery, the new centre will also accommodate nursing and dental services previously located on the site. Additional services on offer in the centre will include health visiting, health information, counselling and maternity services, as well as podiatry, physiotherapy, outpatient services, substance misuse support and a visiting community paediatrician.

Designed in consultation with patients and staff by healthcare building specialists One Creative Environments, the new building takes a C-shape by wrapping around a courtyard garden that aims to offer a peaceful oasis to the centre’s users as well as providing a focal point to the building. To make the best use of the limited site space, which is less than half an acre in size, the centre has a basement car park with parking for both staff and centre visitors.

The building’s main entrance on Stratford Road makes use of contemporary design and large green glass panels to give the centre presence on the busy high street. The use of red brick and white render to the rear entrance on Solihull Road, which provides vehicle access, helps to harmonise the building with the Victorian built residential homes on the street.

As well as contributing significantly to the regeneration of the community landscape, the development will also incorporate a range of green features, including a section of green roof, in pursuit of Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) Excellent rating.

Dr Will Murdoch, Chair of Sparkhill Primary Care Centre Steering Group, said: "We are very pleased to have reached this important milestone and that building work can now begin. By offering a wide range of healthcare services closer to patients’ homes we will be able to transform healthcare provision in Sparkhill and ensure the health needs of local residents are met.”

Ann Pursey, Chief Executive of BaS LIFT Co, said: "Through LIFT we have been able to help the Primary Care Trust create a health centre fit for the 21st century that can also support an expansion in services. The scheme in Sparkhill demonstrates the importance of designing buildings and infrastructure around the service needs of a community, while ensuring the community can easily access those services.”

Ewan Forsyth, Development Director at Prime plc, added: “By making the most of a small urban site we, together with One, have employed an efficient design process to create a healthcare centre that can meet the varied needs of the local community. We will now start construction with an anticipated completion of January 2012. This centre will make a valuable contribution to the health and wellbeing of the community.”