Work to develop a new health and wellbeing centre in Havering has marked a key milestone following the completion of a major phase of the project.
The St George’s Health and Wellbeing Hub – currently taking shape on a four-acre site off Sutton's Lane in Hornchurch – will bring together a range of health, social care and community services under one roof within brand-new, purpose-built premises.
Work got under way last December, and yesterday (Tues, 5 Sept) local health leaders and politicians came together to celebrate the completion of the framework of the new building.
With the hub's structure now in place and the façade in progress, contractors can focus on the next phase of the project which includes waterproofing the building and internal fit-out.
Luke Burton, Director of Havering Place Based Partnership for NHS North East London, said:
"It's exciting to see that this fantastic new building is now taking shape after years of planning and consultation with local people. The completion of the hub's frame marks a significant milestone for the project and paves the way for the next phase of work as we prepare for its opening next year. Once complete, the hub will offer a range of vital services to support people across Havering and neighbouring boroughs now and for many years to come.”
Health and care partners have been working together for several years to design the hub, which secured detailed planning approval from Havering council last year. It is backed by £17milllion of government funding and £21million from north east London partners.
Jacqui Van Rossum, Executive Director for North East London Foundation Trust, said:
“We’re thrilled to see the new health and wellbeing hub in Havering come to life. It’s the result of years of hard work and close collaboration with our partners and residents in the local area. Giving people easy access to a range of mental and physical health services, all under one roof, can make a huge difference to improving quality of life and reducing health inequalities in the communities we serve.”
Councillor Ray Morgon, Leader of Havering Council, said:
“The project is one step closer to completion, which means that we’re closer to realising the dream of having such a first class facility which will serve this part of the borough. As a local ward councillor, I know how keen local residents are in being able to access the new facility.”
Matthew Trainer, Chief Executive of Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals NHS Trust, said:
“This is an exciting milestone for the borough. We are another step closer to providing a range of community services for residents on their doorstep that will make a big difference to their lives. What’s great is this won’t just be a much-needed healthcare service, but a community asset with educational spaces, food facilities and more.”
Darren Gill, Managing Director for London & South at McLaren Construction, said:
“St George’s Health and Wellbeing Hub is an important work of social infrastructure for people in Havering. Together with the client, we introduced modern methods of construction to the delivery of the frame, using digital innovation to create sustainability and quality benefits for the scheme. We’re now ready for the next stage of construction, bringing us closer to a fantastic outcome for the community.”
The complex – on the former St George's Hospital site – will provide access to GP services, outpatient clinics, mental health services, a community diagnostic centre for earlier cancer diagnosis and a range of other services which will help ease pressure on local hospitals.
Last year, a 12-week public engagement programme drew a positive response with feedback showing there was overwhelming support for the project in the local community.
The site will also include provision for wellbeing services and local voluntary and community groups, with facilities such as a community café, multi-purpose education and meeting spaces, and a sensory, dementia-friendly communal garden. Work is scheduled for completion in 2024.
More information on the hub is available on the NHS NELFT Foundation Trust website.