The builders are away and the tape measures are out in force as NHS Fife bosses get ready to take official recept of the new £4.2 million Glenwood Health Centre.
The official handing over of keys takes place between BAM Construction and NHS Fife today (Wednesday) but the Gazette got an exclusive chance to take a look behind the scenes of this spanking new facility before it opens its doors to the people of Glenrothes on March 3.
NHS Fife’s Karen Nolan has been involved in the project from the very beginning and is delighted by the finished building.
“It’s a step into the 21st century for people of Glenrothes and night and day when you compare it to the existing facility, which is about to come to the end of its life,” Karen enthused.
“With a light and spacious reception area, more akin to a hotel suite than a traditional surgery waiting room, you feel a calming effect the moment you walk through the door and, hopefully, those using the centre, both public and patients, will experience that too,” she added.
The new build, the first completed facility in a £500million programme to build community-based facilities across Fife, Forth Valley and Tayside, will replace the original Napier Road practice built in the 1960s, which was condemned in a 2001 NHS report.
Boasting a number of extra treatment and specialist consulting rooms, modern administration and staff facilities, the centre will work as a central hub for GPs, practitioners, NHS Fife officials and those in related medical services including podiatry and paediatrics.
The race is now on to install all of the new equipment and furnishings in time to administer the transfer of the existing practice at the Napier Road site which will close on Friday, February 28.
Bob Skinner, practice manager, said the new facility is “simply fantastic”.
“Even though the building is on two floors and is about the same floor space as the current centre this one feels so much bigger; staff are very excited about the prospect of working in what is now a state-of-the-art medical facility that will carry the service on for decades to come.
Dr Andrew Ross, one of the GPs who will be based at the site, said the new building heralds a new era of community-based health care in the town.
“We are coming from an outdated health centre which has come to the end of its life; we now have a a new building that not only boosts staff morale, but also should instill a new level of confidence and reassurance to those using the many services that will be based or will be visiting the centre,” said Dr Ross.
“With extra consulting rooms, it will also help improve medical training in the future,” he added.
Members of the public are advised of a new contact number for the centre once it opens on March 3 – (01592) 765001.