First look at progress on £11.5m health hub

Over 25 guests braved the January weather to have a ‘first look’ tour of the site of the King’s Lynn Health Hub on Nar Ouse Way, King’s Lynn. The centre at Nar Ouse Way is due to house a range of primary care services, as well as a maternity hub and rehabilitation therapy services from the nearby Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Guests from NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board (ICB), The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn, and Officers and Councillors from Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk joined representatives from NHS Property Services and health construction specialists Darwin Group for a private tour to see the progress on site of the £11.5m new-build healthcare facility.

The Health Hub will house over 20 new clinical rooms, providing a modern, fully accessible, and digitally enabled facility that will help to transform how health and care services are delivered in the King’s Lynn area and increase access to services for people in the town and surrounding areas.

Work commenced on site in late Autumn 2023, and progress over the winter has seen the installation of drainage, preparation and installation of the foundations, and installation of the modular building units.

Paul Higham, Director of Primary Care Estates at NHS Norfolk and Waveney ICB said “We are delighted with the progress we’re seeing on site and it’s exciting to see this much-needed development finally taking shape. This new health hub will provide a range of health services that will help to meet residents’ needs for healthcare services in King’s Lynn now, and to meet the growing demand from the planned expansion of the town.”

Victoria Shaw, Property Development Partner at NHS Property Services, said: “The new healthcare hub will offer people in King’s Lynn and the surrounding areas a sustainable, modern, and fully accessible facility. Through NHS Property Services’ partnership with customers, we can assist health professionals in delivering the best possible care to patients in a building designed to meet their needs.”

The building has been produced using MMC – Modern Methods of Construction – where building structures are manufactured offsite and then installed on site more quickly than if they were built there. This creates less material waste and reduces the impact on the environment.

Inside, walls have been sprayed with an intelligent membrane to create an airtight building shell. Insulation throughout the building has been upgraded, triple-glazed windows have been installed to improve thermal performance, and air source heat pumps and LED lighting will help to reduce energy consumption.

The building, which will have an A+ energy performance rating, will also be Net Zero Carbon in operation, meaning it will use less energy than it generates, leading to cheaper utility bills and less CO2 emissions.

Jim Pierce, deputy CEO at Darwin Group, said: “We know how important this facility will be for the wider King’s Lynn community, so to be able to show people the progress that has been made so far has been very satisfying.

“It’s been fascinating for our team to hear about the positive impact the health hub will have on maternity and rehabilitation services for the area too.

“It’s not often that so many stakeholders get to see the progress of a project in this way. I think it’s given them a good understanding of the benefits of using modular construction methods for this project, especially in terms of the net zero carbon aspect.”

The new hub is part of a wider £25.2m NHS capital investment into health and care facilities in Norfolk and Waveney, which includes the King’s Lynn Health Hub, a new Health Hub in Rackheath, as well as renovation of two existing healthcare buildings in Sprowston and Thetford.

Progress on the King’s Lynn Health Hub will continue into the Spring, with the new facility anticipated to be ready for use in Summer 2024.

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