Refurbished health centre opens in Bowthorpe

New GP Reception at entrance

by Hollie Cowan

A major refurbishment of Bowthorpe Health Centre in Norwich has been completed, bringing huge benefits to staff and patients.NHS Property Services (NHSPS) has completed the £1.25 million project to the centre to ensure the building is CQC compliant and to improve the building’s accessibility and waiting areas.

The building, which is owned by NHSPS, is home to a number of local NHS services. These include GP services provided by Trinity and Bowthorpe Medical Practice, as well as community services provided by Norwich Community Health and Care, dental and mental health services.

NHS Norfolk approved the scheme last year and NHSPS has successfully managed to complete the significant refurbishment, in phases, so that services in the building could remain in full operation and disruption to patient services was kept to a minimum. The centre now provides patients and staff with a modern, safe, high quality environment in which to work and access health care services.

The changes included rationalising the clinical spaces and waiting areas that were provided throughout the building, bringing all the services together around a large central waiting area and installing, with a new shared reception, which allows staff to effectively assist patients visiting the centre. The re-design has also made much more efficient use of the building’s internal space and has created reconfigured CQC compliant consultation rooms.

Nurse Consultation and Treatment Room

Nurse Consultation and Treatment Room

Andrew Peck, NHS Property Services Local Area Team Co-ordinator for East Anglia, said: “With the basic fabric of the building having changed very little over the last 30 years, the layout of the health centre before the refurbishment was characterised by wide corridors, some used as waiting areas as well as under sized and non-compliant clinical rooms. The patient journey on entering the building was often confused with no clear reception and waiting areas, but now the building has a focal point at reception with simple clearly defined routes to areas where clinical services are delivered.

“With the communities of Bowthorpe, Chapel Break and Three Score continually growing, the health centre’s improvements have given the building a new lease of life including fit for purpose facilities which allow clinicians to deliver high quality patient care.”

Sonja Kerridge, Practice Manager, said: “I’m pleased with the final result. It will enable us to continue providing our patients with high quality services in an up-to-date, modern and safe environment.”

Main Waiting Area which was relocated to entrance

Main Waiting Area which was relocated to entrance

Barry Jenkins, of Norlife Ltd which undertook the work, said: “The existing building whilst having a decent amount of internal floor space was configured in such a way that the space was confusing, difficult to negotiate and inefficient.  The reconfiguration has meant a rationalisation of the clinical, public and staff areas resulting in a large centralised waiting area; central, clear and obvious reception and conveniently zoned and clustered clinical spaces.  The extent of the works was a significant challenge but working closely with the practice, we were able to undertake it in phases, ensuring the building remained in full operation at all times.”