Ground-breaking ceremony to mark start of construction of £2.3m new surgery and community centre

by Freja Cooper

The start of building work on a new health centre and community facility in Rugby was officially marked with a ‘turf cutting’ ceremony today (16 February 2018).

NHS, council and construction partners were joined by local people and Rugby MP Mark Pawsey for the ceremony on the site of the £2.3 million development in Bow Fell, Brownsover.

The development will provide a 624-square metre GP surgery, and a 100-sqm community facility as well as parking and landscaping with construction due to be complete by the end of 2018.

Solihull-based contractor Greswolde Construction was appointed to build the facility by NHS Property Services, which is delivering the scheme on behalf of NHS England, Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group and Rugby Borough Council.

The project cleared its final NHS approvals in late 2017 and local people have seen site preparation and initial work throughout January 2018.

Paul Jones, Principal Construction Manager for the West Midlands at NHS Property Services said: “This development will make a real difference to patient care and the local community in Brownsover and we’d like to thank our NHS, council and developer partners for their hard work in reaching this point.”

Jenni Northcote, Chief Officer for Primary Care and Strategy for Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group said:
“We are delighted to see the start of the construction work happening on site, which we appreciate has been long awaited by local residents.

“This is an important milestone that reflects a mark of achievement for the local residents in Brownsover and for everyone else involved in making this happen. We are very much looking forward to continuing to work together and involve local patients in the area as we continue with this exciting project.”

The ground floor of the surgery includes five consulting rooms, two treatment rooms, two group rooms, an interview room as well as reception and waiting area while staff facilities will be located on a second floor above part of the building.

Greswolde Construction Managing Director Malcolm Priest said:
“We’re very pleased to be working with NHS Property Services to deliver this important and prestigious new health centre, which will provide spacious, modern accommodation for medical services for the local community.”

NHS Coventry and Rugby CCG has recently started the process to secure a provider to deliver GP services from the building once it opens to the public. The public will be invited to participate in this process where appropriate.

Although linked to the GP surgery building, the community facility will be owned and run independently by Rugby Borough Council.

Cllr Carolyn Robbins, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for corporate resources, said:
“Residents have waited a long time for a new GP surgery in Brownsover and I’m delighted building work has now started in Bow Fell. The building also includes a new community facility, so the project promises to deliver a real boost for Brownsover when it’s completed at the end of the year.”

Salma Ali, Programme Director for NHS England (West Midlands) said:
“It is great news that all the planning and hard work that has gone into this development is now coming to fruition and that patients will really benefit from this new purpose-built GP surgery. Investment in local GP practices by NHS England will, in turn, support with the delivery of a number of national priorities to ensure that primary care, and general practice in particular, remain at the heart of NHS services.”

Mark Pawsey, MP for Rugby, said:
“Brownsover residents have been incredibly patient since the closure of their previous local surgery in early 2015 and although it has taken longer than we all would have wanted for work to begin I am delighted to see things now progressing. I am confident that everything will now move quickly and that local residents will soon be able to enjoy the replacement surgery and community facility.

“The Brownsover Patients Action Group led by Jake Stevenson, Mike McCarthy and Kamal Mehta, deserve an enormous amount of credit for all of the work that they have done to get us to this point and I will continue to work closely with them and the NHS to ensure that this project is delivered on time.”

Jake Stevenson, Chair of the Brownsover Patient Action Group:
“On behalf of the group I’d like to say we are really pleased to see the start of the end of our campaign. The community will shortly see our new surgery rise from the ground, and we are grateful for all the support we’ve received from our MP Mark Pawsey and the media, over the past 3 years. We look forward to the doors opening for patients for the first time later this year.”

Greswolde Construction will be keeping people living near the site updated as the project progresses.
A planning application for the site was approved by Rugby Borough Council in June. The authority is transferring the land for the GP surgery to NHS Property Services as part of the project.