Banbridge Health and Care Centre
Banbridge Health and Care Centre may have only opened to patients in January 2016 but its short time in operation has brought industry recognition from a number of sources. Most recently, the facility was nominated for two RICS (Northern Ireland) Awards. In addition to being on the ‘Community Benefit’ shortlist, it can also be found in the ‘Infrastructure’ category.
Built at a cost of £16 million, Banbridge Health and Care Centre replaced three existing facilities – the Health Centre at Scarva Street, Banbridge Social Education Centre for adults with a learning disability and Copperfields, which provided day care to adults with a physical disability.
Around 220 staff are based at the Health and Care Centre, helping to provide a range of services including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and specialist nursing. A rehabilitation suite and two dental surgeries are also amongst the services available. Alongside the Centre, a day care facility known as ‘The Linenbridge Centre’ has two wings for 46 learning disability places and 20 physical disability places.
Kennedy FitzGerald acted as both architects and lead consultants for the building following a Primary and Community Care Design Competition. To create a building bringing together three distinct services into one combined structure required innovative thinking to deliver a comfortable and efficient building.
With four levels in total, the building has been constructed on a sloping site around two landscaped courtyards. In spite of the difficulties that traditionally arise from a site of this shape, the internal layout of the four floors has been carefully configured for maximum clarity for patients and visitors.
An abundance of natural light also plays a key role creating a spacious feel in the public areas, as well as providing views out onto the beautifully landscaped courtyards. The courtyards similarly help merge the building with the surrounding landscape.
The building was designed to make healthcare services in the area more efficient by sharing accommodation and services. The structure has done more than this, establishing a facility that has set the blueprint for other healthcare trusts to follow. Ahead of its opening, Paula Clarke, who was Southern Trust Chief Executive (Interim) at that time 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.”
Industry recognition for the architecture and design of the building has been wide ranging, with the two RICS nominations more validation for innovative work that went into Banbridge Health and Care Centre.