Seaham health centre was officially opened having had to reschedule following local flooding back in September.
Seaham Primary Care Centre has given the area’s patients access to a host of services on their doorstep and helped regenerate part of the town centre which had been previously home to buildings which were either rundown or derelict.
The £10million hub, in St John’s Square, was officially opened by Lady Ann Calman, chairman of NHS County Durham and Darlington, at an informal ceremony.
The centre houses two GP practices, Marlborough and New Seaham Medical Group, as well as a range of other services, including an urgent care centre and a pharmacy.
The centre was procured under the NHS Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) scheme, which is a partnership between NHS County Durham and Darlington and Durham and Tees Community Ventures Limited and constructed by Carillion Plc.
Lady Ann said: “I am delighted to officially open Seaham’s new Primary Care Centre. The centre will not only provide high-quality and accessible health services for the people of Seaham and the surrounding area but make a significant contribution to the regeneration of St John’s Square in the town centre.”
Nigel Fenny, Chief Executive of Durham and Tees Community Ventures, said: “I’m delighted with the new facility and looking forward to seeing the difference it will make to the local community through bringing services together.
“Seaham Primary Care Centre is a fabulous example of what can be achieved and delivered through effective partnership working, and I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the project.”
Services available within the centre also include dermatology, continence services, speech and language therapy, audiology, musculoskeletal services, podiatry, dietetics, physiotherapy, mental health and X-ray, and it also has an ultrasound suite.
Rooms for counselling can also be used by mental health services, and meeting rooms have been set up so that health staff, outside organisations and other groups within the NHS can gather together.
Artwork has been created inside the building as part of a community project from Jo Fairfax, and coloured lights change according to the tide. The artwork uses themes from the sea to create images and lighting to enhance both internal and external spaces.
The complex opened in May and followed on from Seaham Contact Centre, a new civic building which homes a library, East Durham Homes offices and council services, was also built as part of the revamp of the area.