Work gets underway on a new health centre for Carlisle Healthcare.
A sod cutting ceremony was held today (16 August 2021) at the new centre on Eastern Way in the city.
Joan Irwin, who has worked for Carlisle Healthcare - and its previous practices - for 52 years officially broke the ground ahead of building work starting in mid-August.
The building will be in place by Summer/Autumn 2022.
Dr Chris Corrigan, premises lead GP for Carlisle Healthcare, said: “We have been working hard to achieve this since 2015. It has been difficult to secure funding within a challenged health economy. We are very excited about the possibilities this new centre will offer.”
Carlisle Healthcare was created in 2016 when three practices merged – Brunswick House, North Carlisle and St Paul’s. It now serves almost 37,000 patients.
Dr Corrigan said: “We currently operate out of 5 sites, including outdated buildings with poor access and lack of parking. This new facility will mean we can deliver care from purpose built surgeries.”
Carlisle Healthcare will eventually work from:
• St Paul’s Medical Centre in the city centre, next to the main bus station
• Eden Street in the heart of north Carlisle
• The new facility in South Carlisle – on Eastern Way
When it opens, the outdated Brunswick House in the city centre will close along with Arnside House and the small branch surgery on Eastern Way in Harraby.
Dr Corrigan explained: “The greatest proportion of our patients most in need of healthcare live in and near this area. We want this facility to be right at the heart of their community. This new building is about a lot more than just bricks and mortar and extra parking. It has been designed to offer a far superior level of comfort and remove the intimidation many feel coming into a GP Surgery. It will also enable us to work in new ways. We are now often receiving more than 800 requests for help every day from our patients.”
It means there will be better space for bringing together the wider combined team, to deliver a fully comprehensive package of care from a range of health and care professionals for the most vulnerable patients. This will include colleagues from other community teams, mental health, voluntary organisations and social services.
Carlisle Healthcare also plans to ensure the building will have the facilities to support it to become a teaching hub to train the staff to deliver the service into the future.
Dr Corrigan added: “Just as Joan has provided devoted service to our patients for the last 52 years, we hope this facility will do the same for the next 52 years! It is recognition of her years of devoted service- that we asked Joan to cut the sod today.”
The development has been supported by NHS North Cumbria CCG, NHS England and Improvement and United Healthcare Developments. Contactors Caddix start work on site mid-August.
Rachel Brown of United Healthcare Developments said “Today is the culmination of 6 years working in partnership with Carlisle Healthcare who have a vision to modernise and transform care, providing more accessible and extended services and improve the health and wellbeing of patients and communities in South Carlisle. It is wonderful to see the vision now being transformed into a reality.”
Derek Billows, contract manager at Caddick Construction, said: “This carbon neutral primary care building a will be a flagship facility for patients and staff. Our team has a raft of healthcare experience and looks forward to delivering this exciting and innovative project, as well as further strengthening our commitment to the Cumbria region and its supply chain.”