Health Minister, Edwin Poots today gave the go-ahead for two new £40m health centres.
~ Thursday, 11 April 2013
The new facilities – in Lisburn and Newry – will accommodate GPs as well as a number of community services provided by the Trusts. The Minister said the new centres, which will serve as hubs for the provision of health care in both communities, are a pivotal part of the reform of health and social care, as set out in Transforming Your Care (TYC).
They will be financed through a mechanism known as Third Party Development (3PD) which involves a partnership arrangement with a private sector company.
Speaking to representatives from the Local Commissioning Groups today, Mr Poots said “A key element of ongoing health care reform is the need to move services away from hospitals except where it is absolutely necessary and to develop service provision in the community so that people can access treatment closer to their own homes or, where possible, at home. The provision of these new facilities will assist that process.”
The proposals for the new centres are based on an analysis of the health needs of the local populations. It is envisaged that the centres will serve as ‘hubs’ providing a number of health services – including GP services, diagnostic Services, imaging and children’s services – to the wider communities in both Lisburn and Newry. The procurement process for these projects is expected to commence shortly with completion of the facilities expected in 2016.
“I am of the view that synergies can be developed within local communities by private sector providers co-locating other provision within the same premises. For example, some of the facilities may include a pharmacy or a Citizen’s Advice Bureau. Each facility would be tailored to meet local needs and the hubs will offer a much greater range of services to the communities which they serve.” Mr Poots said.
The Minister reaffirmed his determination to deliver on Transforming Your Care. He added: “There are limitations on the capital funds available to me to progress not only these two projects but also a range of other priority projects, current and in the future. Therefore, I am of the view that there will be significant benefits to be gained by active involvement of the private sector in delivery of these two facilities.
“I have therefore decided to progress both these projects through a form of form of revenue financing known as third party development to bring these two projects to fruition as soon as possible. 3PD, as it is known, is an approach that has been widely used throughout the United Kingdom.”
He added: “We are fortunate to have a group of such capable and dedicated family doctors in Northern Ireland. I welcome the progress made recently on a new GMS contract and remain firmly of the view that general practitioners have an absolutely key role to play in the transformation of the province’s health care.”
Welcoming the announcement, Health and Social Care Board Chief Executive, John Compton said: “The Board very much welcomes the Minister’s announcement of this significant investment in primary and community care infrastructure. The development will support the direction of travel set out in Transforming Your Care which proposed the delivery of services closer to people’s homes.
“This is the first, in a planned programme of health and care centre developments which will help address the need for teams to be co-located and provide greater access to health and social care services in community settings. We are confident that health and care centres will play a key role in delivering high quality and accessible care for local communities.”
Notes to editors:1. 3PD is a method through which a facility is built and operated by a private sector company which provides the up-front capital. The facility is then leased on a long term arrangement to the user.
2. The new facilities will include a range of services including:
- Diagnostic services
- District nursing/specialist nurses
- Health visiting
- Older people services
- Children services
- Mental health services
- Community dentistry
- Allied Health Professionals – physiotherapy, podiatry, Outpatient Clinics
- One stop assessment
- Voluntary groups