Finch Road Primary Care Centre
Lozells and East Handsworth is one of Birmingham’s most deprived and ethnically diverse wards. As well as increasing GP capacity, the Finch Road scheme was an opportunity to bring investment into this inner-city area and create a building in which the local community could take pride.
BaS LIFT identified a derelict plot of land at one end of the busy high street, which had stood empty for several years. This presented the ideal location for a modern new facility, which would not only be prominent and easily accessible but would act as a catalyst for wider regeneration. However with the development coinciding with community unrest and an outbreak of rioting in the local area, tensions were extremely high. Engagement with stakeholders and the local community was therefore vital to foster support for the new scheme.
Despite being a socially complex development, by taking a proactive approach to the project BaS LIFT was able to secure financial backing to fund the scheme and transform the derelict site.
As well as ground floor capacity for two general practices, each serving 5,000 patients, the centre offers dental services, physiotherapy, a minor surgery suite, community nursing, health visiting and an onsite pharmacy. The integrated facility also brings together psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers from Birmingham’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS), allowing consolidation of these specialist mental health services and enabling the teams to work together more closely.
Uniting the communityAgainst a backdrop of community unrest, engagement with patients and local residents was key to making the scheme a success, both in terms of healthcare provision and encouraging wider investment in the area. BaS LIFT worked closely with a number of resident groups throughout the design and development phase to deliver a facility that would reflect their aspirations. This included a series of design workshops, as well as public consultation sessions with the wider community. By regenerating the once derelict site with a community facility, it symbolically brings the neighbourhood together in a place where it was most disparate.