Construction work is under way on a new health and wellbeing centre in Hornchurch.
A ground-breaking ceremony took place on 02 December to mark the official start of building work for the St George’s Health and Wellbeing Hub, off Sutton's Lane.
It comes after the Government granted final approval for the scheme, which will bring together a range of health, social care and community services within brand-new, purpose-built premises serving people across Havering and its neighbouring boroughs.
Health and care partners across north east London have been working together for a number of years to design the hub, on the site of the old St George’s Hospital.
Contractors have spent the last few weeks clearing the site, and today representatives from project partners were joined at the official ground-breaking ceremony by senior staff from McLaren Construction Group which is undertaking the building work.
Zina Etheridge, Chief Executive Officer at North East London Health and Care Partnership, said:
“Today's event marks another key milestone for the project – we’re absolutely thrilled that work can finally get under way on this fantastic new health centre after years of planning and consultation with local people.
“Providing a range of health and care services in one place, right in the heart of the community, will make an enormous difference to so many people’s lives both now and in the future.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said:
“It’s brilliant to see shovels hitting the ground for the new St George’s Health and Wellbeing Hub, backed by £17 million of government funding as part of our plans to upgrade over 70 hospitals across the country.
“This successful partnership with health and care providers and the voluntary sector will offer a one stop shop to improve both physical and mental wellbeing for local people in North East London – from early diagnostic services for cancer, to mental health support and spaces for community groups to meet.”
Jacqui Van Rossum, Acting Chief Executive of NELFT, said:
“Today we’re marking the beginning of this exciting development which will ultimately provide greater access to healthcare services to our Havering and neighbouring borough communities.
"As we work together in partnership with health and care providers and the voluntary sector, we will be focused on improving the health and wellbeing of our local population. We’re looking forward to opening the doors of St George’s Health Wellbeing to deliver care – when and where people need it most.”
Councillor Ray Morgon, Leader of Havering Council, said:
“This is an exciting and much anticipated day for local residents and the borough. The building of a new health and wellbeing hub will bring together some additional first class facilities for this part of the borough. It means many residents who currently have to travel to different parts of Havering for their health needs will now have them on their doorstep.”
Shane DeGaris, Group Chief Executive Officer at Barts Health NHS Trust and Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, said:
“I'm delighted that construction of this hub has started today. It will help us to provide vital services and better care for all communities across north east London."
Richard Eager, Head of Healthcare at McLaren, said:
“High quality care and health facilities are vital in helping communities thrive.
"Our experienced team is at the heart of creating critical facilities and helping people in the greatest need, by delivering St George’s Health and Wellbeing Hub in Havering. Having completed the site clearing, we’re now ready to begin construction work on this transformational healthcare project.”
St George’s Health and Wellbeing Hub is scheduled for completion by March 2024. Once open, it will give people easy access to a range of primary care, mental health and prevention services, along with some early diagnostic services for cancer.
The site will also include provision for local voluntary and community groups, with facilities such as a community café, multi-purpose education and meeting spaces, as well as a sensory, dementia-friendly communal garden.
More information on the project is available here.