Services at the Medical Rehabilitation Unit (MRU) in Uddingston are being relocated to new high-quality accommodation.
The services currently provided at the MRU will move to the newly developed Douglas Street Community Health Clinic, in Hamilton, towards the end of October 2009. NHS Lanarkshire Board approved the move at its Board meeting on 30 September 2009.
Douglas Street Community Health Clinic offers a significant range of benefits over the current MRU accommodation including:
- A greatly improved clinical environment allowing services to work in new ways, that are not currently possible.
- Improved waiting times for physiotherapy and podiatry services as a result of efficiencies in service delivery within a modern fit-for-purpose clinical environment.
- The ability to deliver services through multi-professional teams, who will jointly share patient information, plan and provide care and treatment.
- Closer working arrangements with local authority and voluntary organisations benefiting patients with long-term conditions, including mental health and addictions.
- Flexible use of clinical space allowing changes in clinical practice to further improve the services delivered to patients.
Alan Lawrie, Director of South Lanarkshire Community Health Partnership, NHS Lanarkshire, said: “Douglas Street has provided us with a fantastic opportunity to provide local health services in greatly improved premises with real benefits to patients. It means patients can receive health services in modern, fit-for-purpose surroundings – something that unfortunately the MRU could no longer provide.”
NHS Lanarkshire opened the first phase of Douglas Street Community Health Clinic on 20 April 2009. The £4.6 million development, on the site of the former social security office at 19 Douglas Street, provides modern, high-quality facilities for a range of primary care services.
The finished development will have a total of 2,322 square metres of accommodation over three floors.
With regard to the MRU, a Fire Safety Assessment and a Conditions Survey commissioned by Property & Support Services Department identified a number of Health and Safety issues for patients and staff, relating to the age and condition of the building, plus major building fabric renovation and refurbishment requirements.
As the result of a Fire Safety Assessment and Conditions Survey patient services and staff accommodation were removed from specific areas within the building to minimise the Health and Safety risks.
NHS Lanarkshire’s approved Property Strategy 2009/2013 concluded the backlog expenditure requirement of £0.67M would not provide patients with sufficient enough improvements to allow the delivery of modern healthcare services.
The MRU provides the following outpatient services primarily to people in Bothwell and Uddingston, but also to some people from other areas:
- Adult Physiotherapy
It also provides the following outpatient services to people from throughout Lanarkshire:
- Paediatric Physiotherapy
- Orthotic Clinic – adult and paediatric
- Westmarc Wheelchair Clinic
- Bioengineering Clinic (e.g. walking aids)
- Staff Physiotherapy service.
Alan Lawrie said: “We recognise that for some patients moving these services will extend their journey by a few miles. However, there are a wide range of benefits from moving to Douglas Street, which offers a greatly improved environment that will allow services to modernise and work in new ways that are not possible in the current, out-dated accommodation at the MRU. Douglas Street is also served by nearby parking and good public transport links.”
After services move to Douglas Street, NHS Lanarkshire intends to market the MRU site for sale as it will no longer be required for health service provision.
Alan Lawrie said: “NHS Lanarkshire recognises that the MRU represents an important piece of local history due to its original role as the Miners’ Rehabilitation Centre. Within the building are a plaque commemorating its history and an archive of old photographs. We are looking for the views of the local community on how these should be retained locally to appropriately mark the building’s history. “
Comments and suggestions should be sent to Calvin Brown, Communications Manager, NHS Lanarkshire, at firstname.lastname@example.org.