Successful exhibition of Barrow’s new Primary Care Centre & tour of former Alfred Barrow School site

Former pupils and teachers had a last look at the former Alfred Barrow School site at the weekend. The open day was arranged by the team planning to develop the site as a new £12 million Primary Care Centre.

The centre will mean a number of organisations will be working together from one central base.

  •  3 GP practices will operate from the site. They will move from Abbey Road Surgery, Atkinson Health Centre and Risedale Surgery.
  •  A response base for NWAS
  • Cumbria CCG
  • Community Services (e.g. Community and specialist nursing, mental health, physiotherapy, podiatry, diabetes, retinal screening)
  • Integrated Children’s Services
  • A pharmacy
  • Occupational Health services for BAE Systems

There was also an exhibition of the proposed new health centre at the Forum on Friday afternoon.

Patients and people living near the site have given largely positive feedback about the plans, as well as raising concerns about parking and accessibility.

Architect Neil Evans and Barrow GP Geoff Jolliffe, who is also the clinical chairman of NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, answered questions about the development which will combine community, primary and social care services.

Dr Jolliffe said: “It was a really busy couple of days talking to people about the plans. There was a great atmosphere at the school on Saturday as people were reminiscing about their time there - hopefully the next time we are show people around the new centre it will be built and it will be a bit warmer!”

Comments made by people visiting the exhibition included:

“It will be good to have different services working closer together.”

 

“Very impressed with the proposed super surgery, especially preserving the original school building, it has stunning architecture.”

 

The“Enterprising idea to bring Barrow up-to-date. Hopefully it will be easier for people to access due to location and easier than having a trip to the hospital. Looks as if it will be a light airy building and have good parking.”

 

“Love the idea of lots of different services being in the same place, huge benefit for patient care! Looking forward to the grand opening.”


The visit was organised in collaboration with John Eccles who hosts the Facebook group ‘The Friends of Alfs’ and allowed lots of former pupils, teachers and interested members of the public to look around the old school building to take photographs, videos, share their memories, reunite and take a final nostalgic visit.
 

Dr Jolliffe said: “Many thanks to John Eccles and all the other staff and volunteers who helped with those final tours around the old Alfred School site. People were able to share their memories of days gone by and reunite with teachers and fellows pupils. We are very aware of the building’s history and we’ll be keeping the community informed of our progress.

“People seemed really happy that we are incorporating the design of the old building into the new centre which will be a modern fit for purpose building bringing together three GP surgeries as well as other services in modern facilities.”

The centre is being developed through Community Health Partnerships (CHP) Public Private Partnership LIFT Programme, led by eLIFT Cumbria.