Health Secretary Opens New Health & Care Village

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has officially opened the new £37m Stirling Health and Care Village. The innovative development includes a new GP and Minor Injuries Centre, the Bellfield Centre, a refurbished Outpatient Centre and a new base for the Scottish Ambulance Service which has relocated from its previous site in the Riverside area of the city.

During her visit Ms Freeman spoke to staff and patients attending the GP and Minor Injuries Centre which houses three GP Practices, a Minor Injuries Unit with X-ray facilities, GP and Primary Care Out-of-Hours services, community nursing as well as accommodation for local healthcare and ambulance staff. She also met health and social care staff working in the new Bellfield Centre which provides short-term care, assessment and rehabilitation for people who require additional support following an illness or operation. This includes people who have experienced a stroke, individuals living with dementia and those who may require palliative care. The Centre can accommodate up to 116 people in en-suite rooms across four short-stay areas (Thistle, Wallace, Argyll and Castle Suites).

The Bellfield Centre’s modern design includes a cafe area, hairdresser and a multipurpose area which can be used by local community groups and volunteers. Striking artwork has been incorporated throughout the buildings along with high ceilings and large windows to create a light, stimulating and welcoming environment. Therapeutic courtyard gardens and roof terraces provide access to outdoor spaces and fresh air along with raised planters for gardening and walkways to nearby greenspace.  Communal social/dining areas have been created to encourage greater interaction, reduce isolation and provide spaces for gathering and activities.

The Outpatient Centre, which formed part of the previous Stirling Community Hospital development, has undergone a programme of refurbishment and continues to provide a wide range of outpatient clinics for thousands of patients every week alongside Livilands Resource Centre which provides a wide of mental health day services and support.

Health Secretary, Jeane Freeman, said: “I am pleased to open Stirling Health & Care Village. This £37m facility is a good example of bringing health and social care services closer together, in line with the Scottish Government’s commitment to shift the balance of care towards mental health, and to primary, social and community care.

“Patients, their families, and staff all benefit from health and social care services that are joined-up and I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge all the project partners for the way they’ve worked together to deliver this fantastic asset for the people of Forth Valley, on-time and under budget.”

Stirling Health and Care Village is a joint venture between NHS Forth Valley, Stirling Council, the Clackmannanshire and Stirling Integration Joint Board, the Scottish Ambulance Service. The main contractors were Robertson Construction and the project was developed through hub East Central Scotland, a joint partnership between public and private sector organisations. Forth Valley College also plans to deliver a range of training, education and skills development to support the current and future workforce within the Stirling Health and Care Village and across the wider health and social care sector.

The new Care Village will support the integration of local health and social care services, making it easier for staff to work together to deliver better co-ordinated, more joined up care to local people – a key aim of the Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership.

NHS Forth Valley Chief Executive Cathie Cowan, said: “This site has a long and proud history as it was the home of the former Stirling Royal Infirmary and, more recently, Stirling Community Hospital. Today’s official opening marks the start of an exciting new chapter which will ensure the site continues to play an important role in the delivery of high quality local health and care services.”

Stirling Council leader, Councillor Scott Farmer, said: “Today’s official opening is a landmark achievement for everyone involved in the integration of health and care services across Stirling. A lot of hard work has taken place to get us here and this dedicated site, with its excellent staff, will go a long way to providing the best possible care for people in our local area.”

Tom Steele, Chair of the Scottish Ambulance Service, said: “We are delighted to be operating from our new ambulance station and workshop on the Care Village site. This not only provides a modern, purpose-built facility to support the delivery of local services but also allows the Scottish Ambulance Service to fully integrate with the other services available on this site providing an improved experience for our patients.”

Annemargaret Black, Chief Officer for Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “Stirling Health and Care Village is an excellent example of partnership working and shows how bringing together health and social care staff with a range of different skills and experience can provide much better, more joined up care and support for local people and their families.”

Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive, hub East Central Scotland said: “We worked closely with all of the partners involved to manage the successful completion of Stirling Health and Care Village on time and on budget. We are proud to have delivered such high quality facilities which have been designed and built to meet the specific needs of the local community for many years to come.”