Rugby Health and Wellbeing Centre opens its doors
A new £2.5m health and wellbeing centre in the heart of Rugby has opened its doors to patients as it sets a benchmark for future healthcare facilities across the region.
The Rugby Health and Wellbeing Centre – part of a major mixed-use development on the old cattle market site – has been built in accordance with the latest NHS guidelines and designed by Bournville Architects in partnership with developer, GPI, and the Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Responsible for delivering services to around 9,000 patients, the centre brings together two GP surgeries - Market Quarter and Beech Tree medical practices. It will include a range of other facilities in line with the growing ‘one-stop shop’ approach - such as an onsite pharmacy, minor operations suite, and additional consulting rooms, which means patients can see a range of hospital consultants and other clinicians in their own surgery.
The centre will also become the main training hub for medical students in the area, with state-of-the-art facilities to facilitate learning and practical skills.
The 1,200sq m, bespoke, new-build scheme forms part of the phased regeneration of the newly-named Market Quarter, which will bring a variety of new housing and amenities to the area.
Along with the health centre and pharmacy, the centre also incorporates a 100sq m municipal community hall, not only providing a valuable resource for local groups, but helping to improve service cross-over, whereby other agencies will work together to improve wellbeing for local people.
Facing onto the park and public thoroughfare through the centre of the development, the new health and wellbeing centre will be at the heart of the Market Quarter. With its pedestrian route linking the main railway station with the town centre, it is also strategically placed to provide GP services to hard-to-reach commuters and students from the nearby college.
Forming part of the CCG’s estates strategy, the collaborative relationship between the medical practices and the ancillary pharmacy will lead to a better patient experience, as well as contributing to NHS Quality and Outcomes Framework ratings by saving GP time and money.
Large, multi-functional health and wellbeing centres are becoming a popular choice for CCGs, which are working to tighter budgets while maintaining high levels of care.
Ian Tipton, director at Bournville Architects, said: “CCGs are having to work smarter with a reduced budget while still meeting the medical and welfare needs of their local communities.
“Purpose-built facilities such as the Rugby Health and Wellbeing Centre are the future and we are seeing an increase in demand for similar designs.”
He added: “Rugby’s population is set to increase by 20% in the next five years, so flexibility was key. It has been designed to enable the GP practices to embrace current best practice in primary care, while also adding the ability to accommodate acute services delivered directly to the local community. This will eradicate trips to hospital – futureproofing health care services for the foreseeable future.”
The new primary care centre enables us to enhance patient care even further and creates space for new service provision
The building’s layout promotes collaborative working while at the same time allowing different zones to be restricted access during the evenings and weekends.
Designed to a BREEAM healthcare ‘Very Good’ rating, with ‘Excellent’ in energy; the building meets both sustainability targets and the best practice vision originally set by the CCG - formerly NHS Warwickshire - and Rugby Borough Council.
An air source heat pump and solar panels also contributed to the practice achieving a 10% renewable energy provision. Passive design measures - such as high thermal mass and insulation, with natural daylight and ventilation - help to keep energy demands down.
Roger Serginson, regional development director at GPI, said: “We have developed a long-standing relationship with Bournville Architects and use its expertise, services, design flair and detailed knowledge of medical centre development to guide us on many of our projects.
“We find the practice pro-active and responsive and it is available to deal with specific requirements fast on multiple schemes. All of these traits came together at Rugby Health and Wellbeing Centre and resulted in a building that provides a modern and welcoming health care environment for the future care of patients.”
Sue Merrell, practice manager at Market Quarter Medical Practice, added: "The new primary care centre enables us to enhance patient care even further and creates space for new service provision.
“Staff and patients alike will benefit from this project for many years to come. The ability to expand our GP training role will also have a significant impact on the local health economy.”