£9.3M One-Stop Healthcare Shop Opens
A unique £9.3 million one-stop health care shop opened today in Northern Ireland. The Belfast-based Bradbury Centre is one of 40 planned Ulster centres which health chiefs are hoping will alleviate the province’s record-high outpatients’ waiting lists.
Located on the lower Lisburn Road, the new centre brings together a whole range of health and community care facilities, under one roof for the first time.
And it will provide health and social care services for children, adults and people with disabilities living in the south Belfast area. The centre is the second of three health and care centres to be built by South and East Belfast Trust.
Speaking at the official opening, Robin Harris, chairman of the South and East Belfast Trust said: “We are delighted to be at the forefront of the development of health and care centres.
“We have been working for the past decade in pioneering, the design of buildings and the reshaping of services to help move community health and social care services into the 21st century.
“Today, we can see the benefits of that approach in the Bradbury Centre.”
The Bradbury Centre will also provide opportunities for the development of new outpatient clinics, normally provided in hospital.
Plans are well advanced for a number of Integrated Clinical Assessment and Treatment Services (ICATS) clinics to be held at the centre – and in turn avoiding a trip to the hospital.
The ICATS is a new system, gradually being introduced to drive down the number of patients – a shocking 187,000 – waiting for a first appointment.
In future, people should receive a letter five days after seeing their GP giving them details of what the next step is, an indication of waiting times and a helpline number for further information.