Alton Primary Care Centre
“The residents are very pleased and the partnership between the GPs is working very well. It’s a real advantage to have community staff and primary care staff based together for the first time.” Carol Goodwin, PCT representative for North Staffordshire
As an inspiring community-centred scheme, the Alton practice provides family health services for the village of Alton and the surrounding rural area.
The primary care centre is situated in the breathtaking village of Alton, near Alton Towers, Staffordshire. The former premises comprised only 3 rooms – a reception and waiting area, dispensary and a consulting room. Serving 1,900 patients the surgery exhibited all the problems you would expect from a lack of space, therefore the challenge was to develop a building that would provide flexibility in terms of service provision, including community services.
Working closely with the design team, Prima 200 developed a premises solution that would maximise space for the surgery without impinging on neighbouring community land.
The scheme has delivered real and sustainable improvements in the health and wellbeing of local people and as well as GP services, provides a whole host of facilities and clinics – from phlebotomy and minor surgery to chronic disease management and GP and Medical Student Teaching Facilities. Development of the new centre also included provision of a new children’s playground, which has become a focal point for the local community.
Community-led consultationThe team at Prima 200 knew a successful solution lay in ensuring the village of Alton was kept involved during every stage of the project, ensuring the finished centre was entirely in keeping with the wishes of the local community. Public consultation events were run by the Parish Council and the project team, while the local primary care trust published regular progress updates on the village website. The people of Alton were proud to take ownership of their village, and its facilities, and were very aware of the issues involved regarding developments in the area. A planning complication made it imperative for the centre to only be sited on Parish Council land and not on neighbouring space that had been given to the village by a local benefactor, but the Prime team were able to reassure residents that this had been taken into account. By involving the residents throughout the design journey and providing reassurance about the land, the community has taken the finished centre into its care and is proud to have it as part of the village.