Plans for Richmondshire’s new integrated care facility are gathering pace, according to NHS and Military officials who say the new centre will be open by 2022.
Richmondshire Today understands a provisional site has been identified for the new centre, which is off Catterick Road opposite Aldi in between the former Darlington College building and the Garrison headquarters.
NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) says it has been working closely with Ministry of Defence (MOD) partners to put together plans for the new facility.
Dr Mark Hodgson, local GP and CCG governing body member, said: “This joint NHS and MOD project aims to enhance the current GP services in the Richmond area by developing an integrated health and well-being service and facility to serve both the military and civilian populations across the wider Richmondshire area.
“This means creating a unique partnership between the NHS and MOD so that the whole population, armed forces and civilian, experience access to high quality services in the most efficient way.
“It’s an exciting opportunity to take the initiative to do something which has not been done before and to complement existing services. Our mission is to create a ‘first-in-the world’ health and care campus by 2022.”
Maj Gen Paul Cain, director for healthcare delivery for MODs joint medical group, said: “There is already a large military population in Richmondshire which includes soldiers and their families alongside existing residents and those moving into the area.
“Many additional service personnel and their families will also be rebased onto the Catterick Garrison site in the next 10 years. It is therefore essential that there is adequate provision of local services to meet the demand – and that includes healthcare and social care services.
“The work we are taking forward in collaboration with NHS is a critical part of the plan and will ensure that everybody, whether in the military or from the local community gets the best possible care in modern facilities.”
The CCG and MOD say they have met regularly to look at the health and social care needs of the current population as well the needs of potential future residents – both serving and non-serving personnel.
These discussions have been informed by public health data and conversations made with the wider population since 2013, they add.
The CCG says it is working closely with other health and social care partners, the voluntary sector and public representatives from across Richmondshire who will help to drive the programme and inform initial proposals.
Helen Grant, Catterick county councillor, told Richmondshire Today that better health facilities were crucial for the area.
“In relation n to the Catterick Garrison it’s vitally important that we do get improved medical facilities both for the civilian and military populations, especially due to the increase in service personnel and their dependants which are coming in the next 12 months.
“The impact of the increasing population is already being felt with residents struggling to get appointments at the existing facilities.
“In light of the temporary closure of the A&E at the Friarage and the decision to end minor injuries service at the district’s GP centres this is something we really need to fill the void.”
If you, or someone you know are interested in more regular updates or in getting involved in this project from a patient, resident or voluntary sector representative perspective, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to HRW CCG Comms, Civic Centre, Stone Cross, Northallerton DL6 2UU.