News

Redevelopment of a former Medway school will provide a new multi-use Children’s facility

by Chris Cunniff

Work is well under way to create a new children and young people’s health and well being centre for Medway on a multi-million pound transformation of the site of the former Temple School in Strood.

The project has been made possible thanks to the combined resources of Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS Property Services and local partners.

The new facility will provide a much-needed centre for local children and young people to access community healthcare services delivered by Medway Community Healthcare, Medway Council and Medway Foundation NHS Trust.

The centre will be owned by NHS Property Services – with the company fully funding the redevelopment and purchase of the site from Medway Council at a cost of £3.1m.

Catherine Webster, Senior Construction Manager at NHS Property Services, said: “This project will reunite delivery of some specialist clinical services for children and young people with a range of disabilities into a dedicated building.

“We are working closely with local partners; Medway CCG, Medway Community Healthcare, Medway Council and Medway Foundation NHS Trust, who will all be the main users of the site, to ensure the new environment benefits their patients, families, carers and staff.

“This is a very exciting project for NHS Property Services to be coordinating and we look forward to sharing more information with the local community as the programme continues to develop.”

Progress was welcomed by Medway Council, one of the project’s partners. Cllr Andrew Mackness, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, said: “I am pleased this important project is gathering pace and look forward to seeing the centre finished and ready to welcome children and their families in the near future. The centre is going to be invaluable to the community, a place dedicated to the development of children, offering the very best care.”

Caroline Selkirk, Accountable Officer at Medway CCG, said: “There has clearly been a need to improve health services and support for children and young people. By coordinating all our partners and available resources, Medway will soon have a new centre that we can be proud of and delivers for our community.”

The existing buildings are being significantly refurbished to provide modern, spacious clinical facilities for the proposed use, including reception and waiting area, consulting rooms, plaster and weighing rooms, plus a nursery and soft play and sensory facilities.

Local children and young people will also be able to access speech and language support, physiotherapy, with observation suites and secure external play areas.

Commenting on the development, Carole Campbell, Head of Strategy for Medway Community Healthcare, said: “We’re delighted to be involved in this partnership project – providing a much needed centre for local children to access community healthcare services. This is a great opportunity for us to continue to deliver high quality care and support by working together across Medway to make it accessible and effective.”

James Lowell, Director of Clinical Operations (Women and Children’s Directorate) at Medway NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are thrilled that a new centre is being built for children and young people who have additional needs within the Medway area.

“The centre will see hospital and other care professionals working side-by-side in a facility specially designed to provide integrated care to meet the multiple healthcare needs of young patients, and families, with exceptional quality and efficiency.

“It will improve the way we deliver our care and the overall experience for both our patients, their families and/or carers – a brilliant and much needed step in the right direction for all.”