[W]ork will soon start in Barrow on a new £12 million Primary Care Centre on the site of the former Alfred Barrow School.
Barrow Borough Council gave the go ahead for the development in May 2016.
It means work can start to demolish most of the former Alfred Barrow School – preserving the oldest part of the building.
A number of organisations will be working together from one central base.
- 3 GP practices will operate from the site. They will move from Abbey Road Surgery, Atkinson Health Centre and Risedale Surgery.
- A response base for North West Ambulance Service
- NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group
- Community Services (e.g. Community and specialist nursing, mental health, physiotherapy, podiatry, diabetes, retinal screening)
- Integrated Children’s Services
- A pharmacy
- Occupational Health services for BAE Systems
- An information point for Third Sector organisations
The centre is being developed by eLIFT Cumbria, a public private partnership formed under the Department of Health’s Express LIFT initiative.
Barrow GP Geoff Jolliffe, who is also the clinical chairman of NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “I am delighted that the project is moving forward to create a centre that will be much better for patients and the community.”
Earlier this year an open day was held at the school in conjunction with the Friends of Alfred Barrow Facebook group, which gave lots of former pupils and teachers the chance to have a final look around.
Dr Jolliffe added: “We are really aware of the building’s history and we’ll make sure we work with the community to keep people in Barrow informed of our progress.”
Providing more services in the community is a vital part of the Better Care Together strategy, with organisations integrating to provide more services closer to home.
The centre is expected to bring 5,000 metres2 of modern ‘fit for purpose’ buildings into the community, replacing old, inefficient facilities.
Demolition is likely to start this summerm with the new centre expected to be complete by the end of 2017.