Banbridge is set for a belated Christmas present as the district’s long awaited £16m Health and Care Centre and Day Care facility is set to open in less than two weeks on Monday, January 25.
The Health Centre and the Linenbridge Day Centre replaces three existing facilities - the Health Centre at Scarva Street, Banbridge Social Education Centre for adults with a learning disability and Copperfields which provides day care to adults with a physical disability.
Some services will remain in the Polyclinic, and patients are asked to check their appointment letters for location.
A rehabilitation suite and two dental surgeries will also be among services available.
In 2008, former Health Minister Michael McGimpsey announced the health centre would be one of a number of projects completed within the next ten years. He said £315m would be spent on capital projects, including the centre in the Southern Trust over the next ten years.
UUP Councillor Glenn Barr said that the opening of the centre was very welcomed which he described as a ‘great asset to the local community.’
“I would like to pay compliments to former councillor Joan Baird MBE who was at the forefront of keeping this project alive after the hospital closed,” he said.
“I would like to acknowledge the commitment and support she has given. It was thanks to her due diligence that the promises made by Mr McGimpsey some years ago were delivered.”
The Day Care facility ‘The Linenbridge Centre’ has two wings for 46 learning disability places and 20 physical disability places.
Around 220 staff will be based at the new Health and Care Centre providing a range of community services including physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy, specialist nursing and a wide range of visiting services who will access bookable clinical, interview and meeting room accommodation.
Paula Clarke, Southern Trust Chief Executive (Interim) said: “Development of community services is key priority for the Southern Trust.
“As well as complementing existing services already provided on the Banbridge Health Village development, this new centre will bring together a range of services in a more accessible ‘one-stop’ environment supporting us to continue to transform care.
“Staff are delighted to be moving into their new accommodation and are really looking forward to welcoming all of our patients and clients to this much more spacious and modern building.”
Banbridge Health and Care Centre is on the Old Hospital Road, whilst the Linenbridge Centre can be accessed via Meeting House Road.