New health care centre for the Dulwich community
- New two-storey health care centre
- Community-based services
- Stakeholder and local community involvement
Our team created a new health care centre on the site of Dulwich Community Hospital to improve GP and community-based services in Dulwich and the surrounding area.
Located over two storeys, the centre provides a range of primary care services, children’s services, some diagnostics, physiotherapy unit, community mental health services, renal dialysis unit and services for patients with long term conditions. It has also been designed to accommodate non-clinical community services, such as exercise classes, education sessions and a space for voluntary sector activities.
The new centre was named after the late local MP who dedicated 20 years campaigning for it to be built – Tessa Jowell.
There was a need for improved GP and community-based health services making them more joined-up, accessible and convenient for patients. Our team are creating a ‘super hub’ a new form of healthcare centre for the NHS, where all medical services are in one place under one roof.
One thing consistent with all healthcare projects is the huge number of stakeholders, often with opposing priorities and needs. As care is devolved further into communities, with new facilities to serve that purpose, managing the needs and expectations of a diverse range of stakeholders will get more complex.
As main contractor, we lead with engagement of stakeholders at the critical design stage as it will have a huge impact on outcomes. For the Tessa Jowell Centre in Dulwich, this involved workshops with 23 stakeholder groups at project inception to tease out what people expected from their new facility.
“We wanted to get as close to the customer as we could,” says Willmott Dixon construction manager Steve Harnett. “The workshops helped us to understand the ‘why’ of the customer, an essential building block at the start.”
During construction, communication was maintained with progression workshops, formal progress reports and informal, weekly bullet-point summaries which went out to up to 28 stakeholders, while visits to site informed stakeholders on decisions about layout and quality.
“We completed two rooms eight months before the end of the job, complete with furniture and lighting, so that we could tease out any problems or improvements,” says Harnett. Using augmented reality software inside room spaces to superimpose finishings and furnishings also helped communicate the finished space with visitors to site, adds Harnett.
A community asset that's fine legacy for Tessa
Malcolm Hines, director of finance from NHS Bexley said:
“The new facility will play an essential part in the transformation of primary and community health and wellbeing services across south Southwark and will serve as a fit-for-purpose health hub for the local community. The new health centre will improve access to GP and community care by delivering a range of health and wellbeing services all under one roof. This is the future of healthcare in Southwark: community partners working closely together to ensure services are more joined-up, personalised and responsive to the needs of patients.”