Expansion of London health centre begins

by Hannah Murdoch

Work has begun on a project to expand a North West London health centre and provide much-needed extra space for its tenants.

Contractors have stripped out the old Post Office building next-door to Hesa Primary Care Centre in Hayes, Hillingdon, and it has been knocked through to create an annex to the health centre.

One of the two GP practices based in the building will move into the old Post Office, which will retain some of its original features, while an internal redesign of the building will provide the second practice with three additional consulting rooms and space for records storage, with added reception and waiting space improving the environment for patients and staff.

Sue Hardy, Deputy Director of Estates for NHS Property Services in North West London, said: “My team has been working to secure the expansion of Hesa Primary Care Centre for around three years, so we are delighted that work has begun.

“Because Hayes is so close to Heathrow airport, the area has some unique public health challenges and has experienced significant population growth since Hesa was first built. These upgrades to the building will not only equip its tenants to meet these challenges in the future, they will allow Hesa to become a genuine hub for healthcare in this growing community, as envisioned by NHS North West London in its healthcare strategy for the area – Shaping a Healthier Future.”

The extension work is being funded by capital from NHS Property Services and also Section 106 money, which is money raised from residential developers by the local council and put back into benefiting the community. The project is being delivered by Brent, Harrow and Hillingdon LIFT, a public/private sector partnership set up to deliver improvements to healthcare in the area.

The internal redesign will see both GP practices located on the ground floor, with the community services moved to the first floor. The new design will improve disabled access, enable community based services to be located together, and increase capacity for other Out of Hospital services.

The conversion of the Old Post Office is expected to be complete by 6 June, while the whole project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014.