A joint sod-cutting ceremony has been held to mark the start of work in the east of the City centre on the Aberdeen Community Health and Care Village and on a substantial new Aberdeen City Council operated multi-storey car park.
The ceremony, at the Frederick Street site, was performed by Sue Kinsey and Barbara Lamb, both from Aberdeen. They have represented the public on the Health Village Project Board and Communications and Involvement Group for more than four years, and been involved in all the stages of this prestigious and innovative project.
“Involving and informing the public is a vital part of this major project and Sue and Barbara have made a great personal commitment to it, so it is fitting they should perform this ceremony,” said Jackie Bremner, Project Director, NHS Grampian.
The Health Village is groundbreaking in the way it has been enabled and will provide services. It is the first 'Design, Build, Finance and Maintain' contract in Scotland taken forward under the Scottish Futures Trust hub delivery process. hub North Scotland Ltd will be responsible for the delivery of the facilities which are being built by main contractor, Miller Construction. This innovative procurement route means the building will be delivered and maintained by hub North Scotland Ltd throughout its first 25 years, after which ownership is transferred to NHS Grampian.
Councillor Bill Howatson, Chairman of NHS Grampian, said: "A great deal of work has led to this point and we look forward to the completion of this superb facility. It will play a major role in providing services in the community, supporting people to manage their health more effectively. I commend everyone involved for their dedication to the project.”
The first building to be completed on the site will be a 185 space public multi-storey car park, which will be owned and operated by Aberdeen City Council and is due to open in November 2012.
Aberdeen City Council’s Social Care and Wellbeing vice-convener, Councillor Lesley Dunbar said: “This new Health Village will make a huge difference to the lives of people throughout Aberdeen and the North-east. A facility of this type in such a central location will provide much easier access to a wide range of health services for a great many people.
“The new car park will also be a great boon, not only to the Health Village, but to the city centre as a whole, providing more spaces than were previously available in this busy area.”
The Health Village is designed to provide a wide range of out-patient diagnostic and treatment services, helping to improve that range of services provided in a community setting in Aberdeen. These will include minor surgery, radiology, dentistry, sexual health services, podiatry, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and dietetics. There will also be an advice and information centre for carers, a healthpoint information service, and learning space for patients, carers and staff. Additionally there will be accommodation for services provided in partnership with Aberdeen City Council and Grampian Police. The 6,000 sqm facility will occupy three levels and is due to open in December 2013.
Some of the services currently in healthcare buildings due to close in the next few years, including the Denburn Health Centre, Woolmanhill Hospital, and the Westburn Centre, will relocate to the Health Village.
Angus Macfarlane, Chief Executive, hub North Scotland, said: “Today marks a significant milestone in the delivery of new healthcare facilities in Grampian. The partnerships that we have already established will be further strengthened over the delivery and operation of these projects. It is a pleasure to be joined today by members of the working group who have had an invaluable input into the facility and have been able to provide to all, a real end user perspective.”