The Sir Ludwig Guttmann Health and Wellbeing Centre at 40 Liberty Bridge Road forms part of the new East Village neighbourhood in Stratford (formerly the Athletes’ Village). The centre, whose name is a tribute to the father of the Paralympic movement, will help to deliver a healthcare legacy to residents of East Village and the existing local community.
During the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games the building was used as the Medical and Doping Control Centre, treating top athletes from around the world. Designed with flexibility in mind, it transferred to NHS ownership in Autumn 2013 and is one of the two largest non-hospital NHS buildings in the country.
A new health centre for Stratford was part of the original plans to redevelop of the former railway lands that led to the building of the Westfield shopping centre. After London won the Olympics in July 2005, the NHS explored a number of options with the Olympic Delivery Authority to identify a suitable site that could serve the needs of the Olympics as well as the long term requirements of the NHS.
The current site was identified by NHS Newham in March 2009. Architects were appointed and the scheme was approved in late 2009. The work from design inception to completion took just over 27 months, successfully delivering the building in time for the London Games.
During the Olympics, the building was staffed by over 1,000 volunteers, who won the Nursing Times Team of the Year award. Working in shifts, they handled 53,306 general patient visits as well as dispensing 2,258 pairs of glasses, treating 3,768 dental patients and fitting 380 mouth guards. The on-site pharmacy was awarded Clinical Service of the Year by the Chemist & Druggist.
The Centre provides a range of NHS services, including a GP surgery, screening services and an eye clinic, as well as a community pharmacy and cafe. Further services will relocate to the centre in due course, including a dental school. Once the centre is fully operational, up to 1,000 patients are expected to visit it each day.