Julia Lopez, MP for Hornchurch & Upminster, has today (4 December) visited the St. George’s Health and Wellbeing Hub in Hornchurch to see progress on the construction of a new NHS facility backed by over £17m of government funding.
The visit took place just over a year since the ground-breaking ceremony on 2 December 2022. Since then, construction of the new facility on Suttons Lane, Hornchurch has come on leaps and bounds with the frame for the structure being completed in September. Contractors are currently working to complete all exterior works to ensure it is water-tight before moving to fit and finish, installing a range of complex medical equipment to support the wide array of services that will be located at the site.
The site will also now become a Community Diagnostics Centre, unlocking a further £5 million of cash so that local residents can get thousands more MRI scans and blood tests each year, reducing the hassle factor when it comes to getting the checks so vital to spotting serious disease early.
Scheduled to open in spring next year, the new centre will bring health, social care and community services under one roof, closer to the community in Mrs Lopez's constituency of Hornchurch & Upminster. Services on the site will include GP services, outpatient clinics, a frailty unit, mental health services and the capacity for over 300,000 scans a year. Renal dialysis will also leave Queen's Hospital, replacing the existing 19 bays with 28 at St George's. The siting of these services in this brand-new facility will help ease pressure at Queen’s Hospital, freeing up space on the busy site for emergency and complex care.
Alongside the health services that will be accessible on site, the NHS Hub will also include community and educational services, such as a dementia-friendly communal garden and a community café, so that the whole community can reap the rewards of this critical government investment.
Commenting after the visit, Mrs Lopez said:
“Securing Government funding for this new NHS hub has been an absolute priority of mine since my election in 2017. Having got the cash in 2019, I have been in constant contact with local health leaders to get the Hub is up and running as quickly as possible and I am so pleased to see how close we now are. I am immensely grateful for the hard work and dedication of the NHS project team and to the construction team at McLaren.
Last month I met senior leaders at Queen’s hospital who told me how the St George's hub will transform how they serve patients. We hope it will help keep elderly patients out of hospital, improve preventative care and allow residents to get treated in a more attractive environment, closer to their own homes. As Havering has the second highest over-65 population in London, improvements of this kind will make a big difference to lots of people.
I shall continue to work with the project team and local commissioners to ensure that this brilliant facility is up and running as soon as possible.”