Clay Lane Health Centre, Coventry
gbpartnerships were commissioned by NHS Coventry to start working on the Clay Lane project in earnest in October 2010.
Stage 1 approval was based on the development of two Primary Care Spoke LIFT schemes within the Upper Stoke and Foleshill wards of Coventry. Thirteen practices across the two localities expressed interest in these developments, serving 17,200 patients from five practices in Foleshill and 34,200 through eight practices in Upper Stoke. The original proposal was for a joint Financial Close. The Foleshill scheme fell away following Stage 1 approval on the availability of affordable land within the locality.
Work on Stage 2 continued forward with Upper Stoke alone, and the GP practices reduced from five to three serving just over c.10,000 patients between the three practices. Arden Estate Partnerships (AEP), the local LIFTCo, undertook the whole process bringing together all the supply chain teams and leading on the Health Planning and Project Management, with the Employers Agent service provided by gbpartnerships. The technical team was led by our Construction partner Galliford Try Central, who ran all of the Design Team meetings.
The purpose of the project was to bring together small/single handed GP practices who were providing services out mainly converted terrace houses, unfit for modern healthcare delivery with issues around accessibility and the inability to provide the required improvements in healthcare due to the restrictive nature of their premises. Two of the three practices were in ‘red rated’ accommodation which was deemed as wholly unsuitable for healthcare delivery.
In response to the Primary Care Strategy the area of Upper Stoke was highlighted as an area of Coventry with under provision of GP services and lists were being closed effecting patient choice. As three of the practices in the locality operated from accommodation wholly inappropriate to deliver services from a project was prioritised to be delivered in order to address fit-for-purpose flexible accommodation in order to allow the practices to grow their lists.
The site at Clay Lane was an Ex-Servicemen’s Social Club with a large Bowling Green and car park. The site is 1.29 acres, which was too large for the health centre alone. The previous ex-servicemen’s Social club was subject to numerous arson attacks and vandalism both within the building itself and the cars parked outside which looked unsightly and was a worry to the adjacent neighbours. The scheme developed has produced not only a 21st Century modern fit-for-purpose Health Centre, but has also regenerated the area with tastefully designed modern terraced houses and an apartment block to fit in with the locality, bringing much needed patient footfall in to the Local Retail District ensuring the neighbouring businesses also benefit regenerating the area visually and socially. Through our contractor partner Galliford Try, one of the region’s largest housing and care providers, Midland Heart, developed 20 brand new affordable homes [nine three bedroom homes, five two bedroom homes and six two bedroom apartments] on the remainder of the site.
Through our close working relationship with the Local Planning Authority, and supporting arboricultural information, we were able to work with our colleagues to ensure that more trees and vegetation would be planted on the site as whole. This strategy ensured the high profile patient access was maintained ensuring easy access to Primary Care services.
A successful Arts programme was run with three of the local schools and practices involved in the project. The project used 1,000 postcards asking what being “happy, healthy and full of life” meant to them, and then the responses were used to create interlinking typography vinyl manifestations which have been placed on the glazing in the building.
Through gbpartnerships, we were able to bring expert knowledge in terms of Health Planning, making sure the right size and level of accommodation was provided and responded to both accommodate the now and future flexibility.
The project closed on the programmed Financial Close date – 26th June 2012, and went straight in to construction alongside the Housing element for a period of 43 weeks finishing construction within budget to the specified date of 29th April 2013.