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Green light for new multi-million pound health and care facilities

Health and Mayor
​Newham Council has given the green light to enter into a partnership to own and build integrated health and care facilities, following a cabinet meeting on Tuesday 21 November.​
​The mayor and cabinet agreed to set up a joint venture with East London Foundation Trust and local health partners, and to work in partnership with NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), to provide higher quality and more sustainable primary care services in the borough.

This makes Newham Council the first local authority in the country to agree to this kind of venture, and approval from local health partners is expected in the coming weeks. 

The council also agreed to a capital investment of £2million into the venture. This is subject to an equal £2million capital investment being made by the health partners.

A detailed business plan was also agreed at the meeting, which outlines how the joint venture will work over the next 60 years, to prioritise the delivery of health and care services in the borough. 

Newham has a disproportionately large number of health premises which do not have the modern facilities that local residents deserve. Whilst there have been some improvements and new developments in recent years, there are still more than 50 primary care sites across the borough, and as part of the project a number of these could be purchased by the new joint venture.

The partnership intends to acquire and redevelop sites in the borough to provide around 28,000m2 of health and care space – including offices and shared facilities for partners. This will enable the partnership to provide primary care services such as GPS, community pharmacy, dental, and optometry services seven days a week.

These developments will also support health and wellbeing services moving from Newham University Hospital into the community to ease the pressure on the hospital and allow people to access healthcare in their own communities. 

In addition, around 250 affordable homes will be built as a result of the venture and will be allocated as a priority to key workers in the health and care sector.

The cabinet decision means the joint venture is now likely to be progressed in December, and will look to move forward with purchasing sites and developing the plans for them in the new year.  

This innovative scheme will ensure that the council and its health partners can meet the demands of the borough’s growing population well into the future. 

The Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, said: “Today’s decision makes us the first council in the country to work with our partners in this way to tackle the health and social care needs of our residents. This new partnership is an exciting opportunity for us to combine our talent, assets, and experience to provide our residents with the first class health and social care provision they deserve. In addition, this project will enable us to provide much needed homes in the borough for our health and social care workers.”

Councillor Clive Furness, mayoral advisor for adults and health, said: “This project is a result of significant work between the council and local health partners. These relationships in Newham are extremely strong and are a national exemplar. This joint venture takes our partnership a stage further giving us the ability to develop and design new facilities to make sure our residents can access modern facilities combining GP, community health, social care and mental health support under one roof. This will greatly improve resident access health and wellbeing services closer to home.”

Dr Prakash Chandra, local GP and chair of NHS Newham CCG, said: “Our commitment to providing our patients with safe, high quality care extends beyond the doors of our GP surgeries and hospitals and to post-acute settings. This partnership will expand our ability to provide the best care, with improved infrastructure to meet the needs of our communities.”

Marie Gabriel, Chair of East London Foundation Trust, said: “ELFT is extremely pleased to be part of this pioneering venture that will ensure access to high quality care in purpose designed facilities. Providing affordable homes will attract skilled staff to work in local health and social care services.

“By coming together in such a dedicated and focused way, the partners are making full use of this opportunity to further ensure that care is co-ordinated and integrated around residents.  This will help deliver ELFT’s commitment to ensuring that care is provided closer to home and in ways that support residents and communities to maximise their health and wellbeing.”