Work has started on the internal reconfiguration of Canvey Primary Care Centre (PCC) to provide multiple health and wellbeing services under one roof.
The first phase of the project includes outpatient clinics, space for a new state-of-the-art X-ray machine, and two accessible changing areas on the ground floor.
This is a key priority for NHS Mid and South Essex – the new body responsible for most local healthcare – and Castle Point Borough Council.
X-ray equipment previously based at the NHS outpatient centre in Long Road, Canvey, had reached the end of its useful life, so upgraded equipment and facilities were required.
NHS Mid and South Essex, Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, Community Health Partnerships, and Prydium (LIFTCo) have worked in partnership to make the project happen, with gbpartnerships providing management services provider expertise.
The two-storey, 2,955sq m primary care centre first opened in 2009 to provide modern, flexible facilities for the local community.
Currently, the centre is home to three GP surgery teams on the first floor, plus physiotherapy, podiatry, ultrasound, leg ulcer, and dermatology services.
The new £981,000 outpatients and X-ray project is the beginning of a three-stage programme to develop a health and care hub for all Canvey residents, offering more local services to improve health outcomes, especially for older people.
The facility will do this through putting out-of-hospital care at the heart of the local community and improving collaboration between services.
The flexibility of our health estate is once again demonstrated and shows how these important community assets are at the heart of local communities
This will simplify referrals for diagnostic testing and mean a smoother patient journey through the health and care system.
In turn, this should improve access to health and care, reducing waiting lists.
The second phase of the programme will improve facilities for the GP teams on the first floor; and the third phase will create a health and care hub delivered by NHS and Castle Point Borough Council teams.
This will allow services to move in from the Long Road Clinic to a building that is fit for purpose, make better use of NHS premises in the area, and free up local authority assets for regeneration work.
NHS Mid and South Essex estates lead, Kerry Harding, said: “The opportunity to make sure Canvey residents can access as many services as possible without having to rely on lengthy journeys off the island is a key part of bringing these services together in the primary care centre.
“We’re keen to make progress with our phased plans so the NHS and our partners can offer joined-up services on a single site fit for the future.”
Eugene Prinsloo, developments director at CHP, added: “The flexibility of our health estate is once again demonstrated and shows how these important community assets are at the heart of local communities.”