Work has formally begun on Worthing's landmark £34 million healthcare centre in the heart of the town.
Funded by Worthing Borough Council, the state-of-the-art Worthing Integrated Care Centre (WICC) will provide GP, mental health, community and dentistry services under one roof, as well as providing a pharmacy and additional services for families and young children.
The integrated care centre will see Coastal West Sussex CCG, Worthing Medical Group, Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust services integrated into one NHS healthcare facility on the site of the council's former car park in Stoke Abbott Road. A multi-storey car park will also be built at the site.
Representatives of each of the partners, including gbpartnerships group Chief Executive, Elaine Siew, were joined by Worthing West MP Sir Peter Bottomley and East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton for the ground-breaking ceremony at the site.
West Sussex Estate Partnership, are project managing the development, on behalf of Worthing Borough Council.
Worthing Borough Council leader Cllr Kevin Jenkins said:
“This state-of-the-art facility will help support the long term health of the community and will be of huge benefit to residents across the whole of Worthing. “Integrated healthcare like this keeps people out of hospital by allowing the experts to diagnose conditions earlier so patients can begin their treatment more quickly. “We couldn't do this by ourselves but by working with our NHS partners and Galliford Try, we are creating a centre for healthcare that will be one of the best in the country.”
Galliford Try regional managing director, Gavin Bridge, said:
“Both myself and my team are inspired by providing high-quality public buildings that make a real difference to their local communities. This project is a fantastic example of that, bringing together much-needed services under one roof, in what will be a modern, vibrant facility. “We look forward to working with all the stakeholders involved, including the local people and where possible offer employment opportunities during the construction phase, to help provide the very best services they deserve.”
The WICC, which will be built on the brownfield site of the Worthing Town Hall car park, will complete the Civic Quarter and is set to include an adjacent six-storey car park capable of accommodating 186 vehicles and 36 bicycles, with a further 28 cycle bays.
When complete, the WICC will boast some of the highest environmental standards with an air source heat pump that will provide the majority of heating, as well as photovoltaic solar panels. The development is expected to be completed in the summer of 2023.
Photo: Martin Randall, Sir Peter Bottomley MP and Cllr Kevin Jenkins, Leader of Worthing Borough Council, welcome visitors to the ground-breaking ceremony
Photo: Representatives of each of the partners were joined by Worthing West MP Sir Peter Bottomley (left)
Photo: Representatives of each of the partners (large group photo)