Hodge Hill Primary Care Centre

"We’ve had a lot of positive comments from the community about the design and from external community workers who absolutely love it! We’re now a real one-stop shop for healthcare and it’s great to have everyone working together on one site."

Richard Mullen, Centre Co-ordinator at Hodge Hill Primary Care Centre

Hodge Hill is an area of Birmingham that has suffered from lack of investment for a number of years. The catchment area includes a growing older population in need of better health and public services closer to home. Yet, while regeneration was welcomed by the local community, a small percentage did not want new health facilities to be built on the site. This was an area of overgrown land that had once housed a block of flats and was now home to a protected oak tree and a number of beech trees, representing one of the few ‘green’ spaces in the ward.

It was clear that a new centre would need to offer more than just health services and become a new community hub that was ‘non-clinical’ and allowed for landscaped outdoor space the community could use.

Providing GP services for up to 15,000 patients and flexible accommodation to enable the delivery of a range of primary care services, this includes district nursing, phlebotomy, podiatry, physiotherapy, health visiting, and a range of specialist clinics. The centre is also home to community dental services and health information counselling. Due the number of services, the building’s height and size were stepped so as not to overwhelm the adjacent residential landscape.

The building features a host of sustainable initiatives including a rain water harvesting system that allows rainwater to be used to flush toilets etc. Solar PV panels and air source heat pumps have also been installed which together can reduce CO2 emissions by 10-15% (compared to other methods) and continue to deliver cost savings into the future. Together these have helped to make this project achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.

‘Green fingered’ residents help to make their community blossom

The overgrown, abandoned site had become one of the area’s only open spaces, so the new development presented a need for strong local engagement. BaS LIFT worked alongside healthcare design specialists, One Creative Environments Ltd, to engage the community and clinicians in the project from the start. Inspired by the eagerness for green space, ‘nature’ was quickly adopted as a theme for the design and a number of workshops were run with the local population and clinical user groups to help develop this.

The protected oak tree informed the shape of the centre, with a landscaped surround and decking area. Inside, the open plan design features glazed windows to maximise daylight and offers views of the landscaped areas. Meeting the need for a ‘non-clinical’ design, wildflower motifs have been used throughout the interior. Dandelions, thistles and orchids are painted in the waiting rooms and corridors, alongside bright and welcoming furniture and quirky flower installation art.