Laying the foundations for improving healthcare in Edenbridge
The creation of a new health centre in Edenbridge has been officially marked with a ‘ground-breaking’ ceremony.
The NHS, local council and development/construction partners joined together with local people and Tonbridge and Malling MP, Tom Tugendhat, for the ground-breaking ceremony on the site of the £13.5 million development in Four Elms Road, Edenbridge.
Combining services from Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT) and Edenbridge Medical Practice, the new Edenbridge Memorial Health Centre will include community space and rooms, putting health services at the heart of the community.
Representing KCHFT on the day was Becky Thompson, Matron of Edenbridge and District War Memorial Hospital, John Goulston, Chairman of the trust and Mairead McCormick, soon-to-be Chief Executive of the Trust who will be starting in the summer.
Building for the future, the health centre has been designed to be sustainable and fit in with the local environment, including a memorial garden area for conservation and with an emphasis on the health, wellbeing and lifestyle services that will be available under one roof.
Services already planned include a GP practice, outpatient services, minor injury unit, x-ray services, therapies and social prescribing.
The development provides a 2,180 square metre of clinical and community space, along with parking and landscaping, with construction due to complete in Autumn 2023. gbpartnerships has been appointed as the development partner to lead the project.
John Goulston, Chairman of KCHFT, said:
“I am delighted we have reached the next phase of the Edenbridge Memorial Health Centre project. “So much work has gone on behind the scenes to reach this point, and I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has been involved and helped us get here. “This stage of the development is the exciting part as begin to see the tangible results of the hard work and I’m sure we will all agree, our NHS partners and other organisations who are involved, that we cannot wait to see the construction begin and the finished building when it is complete next year.”
Becky Thompson, Matron at Edenbridge and District War Memorial Hospital:
“As both a resident of Edenbridge and representative of my incredible colleagues who work at Edenbridge and District War Memorial Hospital, I’m delighted to be part of the events today. “I have worked at Edenbridge for 21 years after starting my career as an agency nurse and during that time have worked with so many amazing people and cared for many members of my community. I’m proud to be Matron of Edenbridge and am excited to be part of this project as we look ahead to welcoming patients to the new health centre.”
Tom Tugendhat MP, said:
“After years of hard work to make this project a reality, it is an honour to be able to mark the start of works on our brand new Edenbridge Memorial Health Centre. We have pulled together as a community and I’m very proud to have played a part in making it happen. “This will be a facility that transforms healthcare in our community. It is a significant investment by the NHS and all healthcare providers in Edenbridge, delivering services we need in our town. “I’d like to thank everyone who has played their part in getting us to the stage of construction, and look forward to it being open very soon.”
Dr Mark Sage from Edenbridge Medical Practice, said:
“We are thrilled to be moving to this exciting new phase in the project. So many of the practice team - past and present - have been involved in the design and planning of our town’s new medical centre. “We are looking forward to seeing the work start and being able to move into the new building, from which we will be able to provide state of the art medical care for generations to come.”
Paul Bentley, Chief Executive designate of the NHS Kent and Medway Integrated Care Board, said:
“Developing this new health centre is a great way to expand and improve health services in Edenbridge. I am really pleased we are entering the next phase and I look forward to seeing regular updates as we move forward. “This project is a good example of what can happen when we work together to achieve the best outcomes for people. Thank you to everyone involved; I am very grateful for all the hard work that has been done so far.”
Ian Tuddenham, Director of Development from gbpartnerships, said:
“At the heart of our company is a commitment to make a positive difference to the communities we work in. When the opportunity to utilise our funding and development expertise in partnership with the NHS and KCHFT in Edenbridge was available, we had to be involved.”
Gavin Bridges, Managing Director for Galliford Try Building Southern, said:
“We are delighted to have been chosen as the construction partner to turn the vision of so many dedicated people into reality. We look forward to becoming an active part of the community during the construction phase, and to handing over the completed building, providing excellent facilities for the people of Edenbridge for many years to come.”
David Green, Project Director from LSI Architects, said:
“The design team spoke with local stakeholders to understand what they wanted to see from the new Edenbridge Memorial Health Centre.
“The resulting design creates a vibrant and welcoming environment that will meet the needs of the local community and we look forward to seeing the building begin to take shape over the coming months.”
Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust will be sharing updates throughout the construction process, including an artist’s impression of the finished building on www.kentcht.nhs.uk/EdenbridgeBuild