Public given first look at £12m Barrow health centre

MEMBERS of the public have been given an exclusive first look at a new £12m health centre.

Residents were invited to tour the new state-of-the-art Alfred Barrow Health Centre before it officially opens next week. The health centre, which is situated on the site of the former Alfred Barrow School in Duke Street, is bringing together a number of primary and community health services which will greatly benefit the Furness population.

Geoff Jolliffe, chair of Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said the completed building had ‘exceeded his expectations’.

He said: “We started planning this in 2006 so it’s been a long road to this point but entirely worth it. It’s a lovely building with an emphasis on staff wellbeing. We wanted to make it a joy for staff members to work here. This will help us recruit and retain people, reduce sickness and absence and encourage innovation. We will all remember this day for the rest of our lives as a proud moment entering the next phase. It’s a huge leap forward for health care in Barrow.”

Stewart Young, leader of the Cumbria County Council, said he was ‘really pleased’ with the finished building. He said: “The centre looks fantastic, it’s fulfilled our wildest expectations. I believe it’s going to transform healthcare in Barrow and benefit people from across the area.”

Michael Cassells, project worker at Mind in Furness, said the centre would provide better mental health provisions for residents across Barrow.

“A Mind officer will be placed in the centre to offer support and guidance for those struggling with mental health,” he said, “There will be activities, monitoring and guided self-help which will all have huge benefits for service users. I think the centre is a fantastic service.”

The Alfred Barrow Health Centre, which also houses an on-site Boots pharmacy, will be officially open on Monday.