Major development at Colchester walk-in centre to accommodate services transferred from closing Essex County Hospital
- Credit: COLCHESTER HOSPITAL UNIVERSITY NHS FOUDATION TRUST
A £6.4 million investment will see acute hospital services in Colchester brought together on the same site next year for the first time ever.
Work has begun on a project which will enable the majority of clinical services still provided at Essex County Hospital to transfer to Colchester Primary Care Centre (PCC), which is in Turner Road next to Colchester General Hospital.
The nine-month programme at the PCC is a key part of the trust’s ambition to transfer all services off the Lexden Road site, which is almost 200 years old.
The PCC opened in 2006 and the cash injection will convert its first and second floors, which are currently used as office space, into a base for clinical services.
Nick Hulme, chief executive of Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, said Essex County Hospital would close for good in the summer of next year.
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“Essex County Hospital is a much-loved facility that has served the population of Colchester and the surrounding area with distinction for almost two centuries,” he said.
“However, the site has been developed in a piecemeal way over the years and is a hotch-potch of buildings, both old and new, whereas the PCC is a far superior setting from which to provide modern health care under one roof.
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“Being next to Colchester General Hospital, it is part of a health campus which is far more efficient than having separate sites two miles apart.”
The main services that will be relocated from Essex County Hospital to the PCC are: eye services, which will be provided on the first floor; and ear, nose and throat and audiology services, which will be delivered from the second floor.
The main contractor is Kier Workplace Services, which already delivers facilities management services to the PCC and will continue to do so.
Community Health Partnerships (CHP), a Department of Health owned company, is the head tenant of the PCC and it has invested £3.5m into the development scheme.
Mark Day, chief operating officer for CHP, said: “Improving access to patient care is core to what we do.
“I am delighted that CHP can play its part in delivering for patients in Colchester and the surrounding area by providing a modern, flexible health facility.”
The services currently provided on the ground floor of the PCC, including a renal unit, NHS walk-in centre, podiatry services, dental services and specialist paediatric services, will remain.
Essex County Hospital is set to be turned into housing once the trust moves out.