Private cash will build GP centres.
People in Kenton, Shiremoor, Walker and Brunton Park will be the first to benefit from a pioneering programme which will eventually transform more than 25 health centres and community facilities in the area.
In Shiremoor a health centre is planned on the site of the former middle school in Earsdon Road with three GP practices. All the schemes will cater for community nursing staff, other health care professionals and possibly some council or voluntary services.
In Kenton there will be a new resource centre on the same site as the clinic in Hillsview Road.
In Walker the health centre in Church Walk will be replaced with a new building nearby. Brunton Park will also have a new building.
The work will be funded using a new type of public-private partnership known as NHS Lift (Local Improvement Finance Trust). This involves setting up a company in which the local NHS, the Department of Health and a developer, in this case Scottish-based Robertson Capital Projects, are partners.
Doctor Val Wadge, who practises at Brunton Park, said: "We will be very pleased to move into our new premises, as will our patients, especially as we have been in temporary accommodation for two years. The practice is excited at the prospect of brand new, purpose-built primary care premises for the 21st Century, which will enable us to operate as a modern general practice."
Dr George Rae, a Whitley Bay GP and regional chairman of the British Medical Association, said: "There is a real need for investment in health centres so that GPs and nurses can take on more diagnostic work and minor operations.
"Younger doctors are reluctant to invest in premises so we have to find another way.
"There are some anxieties about private partnership leases but the doctors involved in this project seem reassured about the responsibilities they are taking on."
Chief executive of North Tyneside Primary Care Trust Pam McDougall said: "The investment will focus on the needs of local people and will mean greater choice and access to community-based health care and treatment.
Robertson Capital Projects is preferred bidder for private finance redevelopment at St George's Hospital in Morpeth and is building a community hospital in Chester-le-Street.
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Publication:||The Journal (Newcastle, England)|
|Date:||May 29, 2003|
|Previous Article:||Moor windfarm `could cost lives'.|
|Next Article:||Byers spells out risks.|