A new health and social work centre, which offers a unique model of joint services for Renfrew, was officially opened today by Nicola Sturgeon, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing.
At a special ceremony at the new £18 million Renfrew Health and Social Work Centre, the Cabinet Secretary met with staff and patients before unveiling a commemorative plaque and officially declaring the new Centre open.
The Centre, which opened its doors to patients earlier this year, provides health and social work services to a population of more than 20,000 Renfrew residents in state-of-the-art, fit for purpose facilities.
The Centre brings together health and social work services under the one roof for the first time. It is home to 11 GPs from the three Renfrew practices which have relocated to the Centre plus a range of services including a general dental service, physiotherapy, podiatry, speech and language therapy, community nursing, the joint learning disability service for all of Renfrewshire and Renfrew social work services.
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “I am delighted to officially open this fantastic new Health and Social Work Centre in Renfrew.
“It is very encouraging to see how well all the partners - Renfrewshire Council, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Renfrewshire Community Health Partnership and the local community - have worked together to bring to fruition this project.
“It is absolutely vital that local authorities and the NHS work together closely to deliver the best solution for both patients and staff.
“I am sure patients and service users will be delighted with this improved new facility, which brings together key primary care and social work services in one convenient location.
“I am confident that working in the same location will lead to closer co-operation between primary care practitioners and local authority services. Closer working relationships are essential to ensuring that people are put at the heart of services.”
Andrew Robertson, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Chairman, said: “The new Centre is a superb, modern, bright facility which patients and staff are already very much enjoying. The Centre provides the very best facilities for community based health and social care services which the community can be rightly proud of.
Through the Centre we have a very unique opportunity to working in partnership with social work colleagues to jointly tackle a range of health and social issues which will be of significant benefit to the people of Renfrew.”
Councillor Derek Mackay, Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said: "I am delighted that this first class building is operational, providing excellent services to the local community. In these difficult financial times it is a pleasure to see this project through to completion, where the council and NHS has worked together to make it happen.
"This is good for Renfrew, and other communities who depend on the centre."
Effie McGachie, President of the Renfrew Community Council said: “We are highly delighted with the new centre. It’s beautiful - really modern and bright. In fact if you go in feeling unwell, you come out feeling better because it is just so nice inside! Having all the service together under one roof is a major benefit too.”
The new Renfrew Health and Social Work Centre is a joint development between NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Renfrewshire Council and local residents have also had a major hand in shaping the new Centre from the outset of planning three years ago. As a result a number of changes to the original plans have been made thanks to the contribution from members of the public. Local pupils from Renfrew High School have also played their part and came along to planning meetings and shared their views on the services that should be provided.
The Centre’s architects, Holmes, have worked closely with the CHP, Council and local community representatives to create a bright, airy welcoming space. Light floods into the building and there has been real attention to detail including the use of many natural materials.
Local artists have also created wonderful artworks for the Centre including art students from nearby Reid Kerr College.
Kerry Boyle, Senior Architect at Holmes Partnership said "Holmes have always believed that successful healthcare design efficiently resolves a wide range of functional requirements whilst, at the same time, providing an uplifting environment for patients, visitors and staff. We are delighted that the new building has been so well received both within the local community and with the staff themselves.”
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NOTES TO EDITORS
• Renfrew Health and Social Work Centre building floor area is 5260m2, which approximately equates to the size of one standard football pitch.
• The site itself is 11,515m2 which equates to just over 2 standard football pitches
• with a large public amenity area of 3275m2 connected directly to Renfrew town centre, which is almost 3/4 of the building footprint itself.
• The building used approximately 200 tonnes of steel
• It has 1115m2 of glazing, making up more than a third of the external wall area.
• The building was designed to minimise its environmental footprint. Heating demand is reduced through the use of a biomass boiler plant - 'biomass' is an alternative solid fuel to conventional fossil fuels and has an impact on carbon emissions that is close to neutral.
• The building facade performance was designed to minimise summer solar gain in order to maximise natural ventilation while also maximising daylight penetration.