Plans in good health

Eastwood’S health centre took a further step towards becoming a reality this week with the appointment of its architect.

The Extra can exclusively reveal Glasgow-based Gareth Hoskins Architects has been appointed to design the new £15.5 million Eastwood health and care centre in Clarkston.

In what will be a first for Scotland, the Scottish Futures Trust has selected the facility to be a design reference project for all future primary healthcare centres.

A council spokesman said: “The building will be designed to demonstrate that excellent, sustainable and good value design is achievable which also meets national design guidance.”

The plan will be finalised after workshops with GP practices, the public partnership forum which represents patients and customers and Commmunity Health and Care Partnership (CHCP) staff who will work in the building.

Councillor Lafferty, chair of the CHCP committee, said: “We are delighted with the appointment.

“The development offers an excellent opportunity to develop a first-class integrated health and care facility in Eastwood that will provide a range of health and social care services to locals.”

Gareth Hoskins, director of Gareth Hoskins Architects, said: “The new building will offer an integrated approach to community healthcare in a modern, purpose-built facility.

“We are delighted to be appointed to design the building and will be working closely with ERC and Greater Glasgow NHS as the project moves forward.”

The facility will replace a number of current local health and care buildings no longer able to provide modern facilities to a high standard.

The move comes as the council and NHS look to prepare for the the population of pensioners in Eastwood rising significantly.

ERC has pledged £6.5m from its general capital funds, and the Scottish government’s health directorate has approved a further £9 million funding.

The project has been the subject of much debate, with the Conservative group in East Renfrewshire putting forward a budget amendment last year regarding the need for two health centres, while Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw criticised the location.

A council spokesman said: “The funding is only available for a single amalgamated facility and is conditional on the building being up and running in 2012.

“The CHCP worked closely with the PPF and East Renfrewshire council’s property and technical services to source suitable, affordable and accessible sites, and chose the Drumby Road location in Clarkston.

“It was chosen because it fitted the bill the most in terms of accessibility, patient accessibility, timescale, location and it is close to the majority of the patient population.”