Visitors got a glimpse behind the scenes as development continues on the site of a new pulmonary rehabilitation suite at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.
Community Health Partnerships (CHP) chief executive, Wendy Farrington-Chadd, was among those who visited Lowe House in St Helens, which marks the first phase of a CHP-funded capital project to create new facilities for the trust.
A second phase of works will include the installation of two new birthing suites for maternity services.
During the visit, Farrington-Chadd was joined by Andy Muir, regional director for the North West at CHP; John Green, senior customer relationship manager; Libby Doherty, regional property contracts manager’ and Danielle Gann, operations and relationship manager.
They met with Ian Butterworth, strategic projects manager from LIFT development company, Renova; and Ann-Marie Barrow, senior commissioning manager at St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Dan Cook, programme manager at CHP, originally produced a business case in March 2019, which allowed CHP to work closely with colleagues from Renova, an investor in 17 community healthcare facilities in the North West, and the local St Helens CCG on the project.
A new ultrasound room and independent access to the birthing hub will also be created as part of the reconfiguration.
This variation will cost around £736,000, with £50,000 being contributed by Cheshire and Merseyside Women’s and Children’s Services Partnership.
As a building within the heart of the community, its aim is to increase birthing location options for women in those areas and reduce the need to visit a hospital.
Community Health Partnerships (CHP) chief executive, Wendy Farrington-Chadd, was among those who visited the development
The works on this phase started at the end of January and should be completed by May.
Internally, the work will include adjusting a fire door to become a dedicated entrance and exit for service users and their families; altering internal access doors; work on water and waste water, sluice facilities; and reworking the existing clinical treatment rooms to provide a wet and a dry birthing suite with extra provisions for changing and showering.
The birthing suite will allow mums who are low risk to give birth on a site and receive all their care, including scans, at Lowe House, meaning they do not have to travel to a hospital site.
Women will also be able to access support for smoking cessation, perinatal mental health, and infant feeding.
For children, multiple health services will be provided, making care much more co-ordinated for families whose children are under several services.
Barrow said: “The way that organisations and services have come together to develop and progress this project has been key.
This project will make a huge difference to pregnant women, children and their families and is a major coup for St Helens.”
Butterworth added: “Lowe House already plays a vital role for local residents, so this project will be a huge boost to families, offering them a range of new facilities and services all under one roof in the heart of the community.
“We were delighted to showcase the works now underway which are a testament to the close working between all partners to deliver the best-possible community healthcare facilities for local residents, families, and patients.”