What: Carlisle Healthcare Hub, the UK's most sustainable primary healthcare centre, aka a "super-surgery" is about to begin construction in Carlisle, in the north of England. Once open, it will be the most efficient clinic in the UK, designed to be carbon neutral as well as BREEAM Outstanding, a sustainability benchmark for buildings.
All the state-of-the-art clinic's power will be supplied by renewable energy, thanks to solar electricity generated on site via roof top panels and battery storage. A heat recovery ventilation system will replace the need for conventional heating systems.
The health centre's plans include 60 practice rooms set over four storeys, with the capacity to treat 35,000 patients and employ 50 staff. Services will include a doctor's surgery, physiotherapy and community mental health. There are also plans to add teaching facilities to provide training for future staff.
Who: The hub will be run by the NHS; plans were submitted by doctors' group Carlisle Healthcare to developer United Healthcare Developments Ltd, supported by the NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS England and Improvement. Caddick Construction have been appointed to start the build.
Why: Plans for the new hub have been in the pipeline since 2015, with the aim of modernising the existing facilities in Carlisle. At the moment Carlisle Healthcare has five clinics that need updating - complaints include poor access and lack of parking. It is hoped the new centre will make healthcare more accessible for the community.
Where: Carlisle Healthcare Hub will be located on a former railway siding in Carlisle, in the northwestern county of Cumbria.
When: The project has already been six years in the making, although a completion date is not yet known.
They say: “Today is the culmination of 6 years working in partnership with Carlisle Healthcare who have a vision to modernise and transform care, providing more accessible and extended services and improve the health and wellbeing of patients and communities in South Carlisle. It is wonderful to see the vision now being transformed into a reality" Rachel Brown, United Healthcare Developments.