Local family help Minister cut ground on new Partnership Centre

A sod cutting ceremony was carried out earlier today (Wed 6 July) to officially mark the start of construction work on the first of three health and social care centres in Edinburgh and West Lothian.

Maureen Watt, Minister for Mental Health, officially cut the ground on the North West Edinburgh Partnership Centre in Muirhouse, Edinburgh.

The centre is one of three in the £27.6 million programme, which will be delivered by NHS Lothian in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council and West Lothian Council and will be developed by Hub South East Scotland with GRAHAM Construction as the main contractor.

It will provide a new GP practice, physiotherapy, podiatry, dentistry, voluntary sector services and children and families health and social work services – in a move designed to ensure that children's health and welfare are at the forefront of local services.

Allermuir Health Centre (formerly the Firrhill Partnership Centre) and the North West Edinburgh (Muirhouse) and Blackburn in West Lothian partnership centres, have been designed to make it easier for patients and service users to access services by providing them in a one-stop shop.

Minister for Mental Health, Maureen Watt, said: “I am delighted to be here to officially mark the start of construction on the North West Edinburgh Partnership Centre.

“Once open, this will be a thoroughly modern, fit-for-purpose facility that will benefit the whole of the Muirhouse and Pennywell area. The development of this new facility, along with two other centres across Lothian, will help to bring local services together and make it easier for communities to access them.

“This is one of many capital projects under development across NHS Scotland. Investment in local infrastructure continues to be a key priority for this Government, with over £2 billion invested in Scotland’s health infrastructure over the last four years. 

“I want to thank everyone involved for getting this project to such an important stage and look forward to seeing work progress over the coming year or so.”

The Minister was joined by a family from Muirhouse, who are likely to access services when the new facility opens later in 2017, to help cut the ground.

Vicky Cordice, her five-year-old son Matthew, and her mother Elizabeth toured the building site and got to see for themselves how the new centre will take shape over the coming months.

Councillor Cammy Day, Vice Convener of Edinburgh’s Health, Social Care and Housing Committee said: "This centre is a very welcome addition to the area, as well as being home to key Council social care teams, it is also a centre point for the local community and gives service providers the ability to deliver quality, integrated services to those who need them.

“The Council is committed to ensuring that residents are well cared for and improving their quality of life, working in partnership with NHS Lothian will allow us to achieve this through the opening of centres like this.”  

Brian Houston, Chairman of NHS Lothian, said: "I'm delighted that work is now progressing on the North West Edinburgh Partnership Centre and on the other two fantastic new centres. They will help to better connect health, social care and council services in the heart of these communities.

"Bringing services together in one place will help to improve access for communities throughout Edinburgh and West Lothian and will in turn improve health and quality of life.

"We will continue to work closely with our partners in the City of Edinburgh Council and West Lothian Council, along with Hub South East Scotland, as we deliver the new buildings."

George Walker, Chairman of the Edinburgh Integration Joint Board, said:  “It’s great to see the first phase of construction work starting on the new centre. We work with NHS Lothian, the Scottish Government and care providers to make sure the right services are in place to support people and this fantastic facility will be of real benefit to local residents by providing a one-stop shop for their health needs.”

The new facilities have been developed under the Hub initiative through Hub South East Scotland. They will be delivered through a single design, build, finance and maintain contract, with GRAHAM Construction appointed as the official contractor.

Richard Park, Operations Director for Hub South East Scotland said: “Having already successfully delivered a number of facilities in partnership with NHS Lothian, the City of Edinburgh Council and West Lothian Council, I am delighted to be marking the start of construction on this new trio of partnership centres.”

“As Hub projects, once complete, not only will they be high quality facilities for the people of Firrhill, Muirhouse and Blackburn, they will also have also delivered a number of community benefits for the local area.  

“It was fantastic to meet a family of three generations in North West Edinburgh who will be able to access one of these new Centres, reminding us of the real difference that new, modern facilities can make.”

Michael Graham, Group Executive Chairman of GRAHAM Construction said: “These state-of-the-art facilities will be a real attribute to people in the Lothian region and an excellent addition to local health services.

“The North West Edinburgh project will create an accessible centre for the community - the first of three GRAHAM will be completing in partnership with Hub South East.

“The company holds significant experience of delivering modern health-care projects across Scotland and we’re pleased to be reaching this important milestone.”

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