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  • Writer's pictureThe LIFT Council

LIFT Council welcomes Wes Streeting MP and Helen Hayes MP to open the newest LIFT facility

The LIFT Council welcomes Shadow Health Secretary, Wes Streeting MP, Helen Hayes MP and Jess Mills to officially open the Tessa Jowell Health Centre

On Thursday 6th July, the latest LIFT building to be built, the Tessa Jowell Health Centre in Dulwich, south London finally received the opening it deserves, following the pandemic. The LIFT Council and key stakeholders were joined by the Shadow Secretary of State for Health & Social Care, Wes Streeting, local Member of Parliament, Helen Hayes MP, and Dame Tessa’s daughter, Jess Mills. First opening to patients at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020, this state-of-the-art community health facility went straight into action as a centre delivering vaccinations to the local community. As a result of pandemic restrictions, this new LIFT building never received an official opening, so a special event was planned to coincide with wider celebrations of the 75th birthday of our NHS. Key stakeholders involved in the delivery and management of the Tessa Jowell Health Centre were joined by a range of guests from across the local community and health sector. Delivered under the NHS Local Improvement Finance Trust (NHS LIFT) Programme, the Tessa Jowell Health Centre is a shining example of public private partnership. Led by LIFT Council member, Fulcrum, this £22.5 million project was designed to integrate a range of health and wellbeing services all under one roof to help meet the needs of the growing local population. It has brought a key health facility into the heart of the Dulwich community offering a: GP surgery, pharmacy, renal dialysis unit, consultant outpatient clinics, blood tests, cardiology and respiratory diagnostics and mental health services. A testament to the joined up and collaborative nature of community care, the health centre’s key service providers include Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust; King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

The LIFT Council were delighted to show politicians the real-life tangible impact that the LIFT model has brought to local communities, and looks forward to working with a variety of stakeholders to continue this success.

Chair of the LIFT Council and CEO of Fulcrum, Sarah Beaumont-Smith, said: “The Tessa Jowell Health Centre was delivered in the most challenging of circumstances during the pandemic but shows the strength of the NHS and partner organisations working together to support our NHS and community health. As the whole country celebrates 75 years of the NHS, it is a fitting time to officially open this building which offers a shining example of the future of Primary Care provision.”

Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Wes Streeting MP, said:

"It was an honour to be part of the official opening of the Tessa Jowell Health Centre. Tessa was a passionate advocate for improved healthcare throughout her 23 years in Parliament, and her legacy lives on through the extraordinary people and services that have come together in this wonderful health centre. It was a pleasure to speak to those who use the facility and hear first-hand the importance of providing modern, accessible community care for all. This health centre represents what state-of-the-art community healthcare should look like."

Member of Parliament for Dulwich and West Norwood, Helen Hayes MP, said: “I am delighted to be part of the official opening on the Tessa Jowell Health Centre. This facility has been a lifeline for so many in Dulwich and West Norwood ever since it opened during the pandemic. It is fitting that it is named after Dame Tessa who fought so hard for this facility during her time in Parliament and would have been so proud to see it up and running. The Centre is a part of Tessa’s legacy and the legacy of a Labour government which invested in our NHS. I look forward to seeing the Tessa Jowell Health Centre continue to thrive and serve the people of Dulwich and West Norwood so well."

Dame Tessa’s daughter Jess Mills said: “Mum was endlessly passionate about helping her constituents and doing everything she could to ensure accessible healthcare for all, so it’s the perfect tribute to see this health centre making such a huge contribution to local people. It has been such a challenging few years for all of us but the official opening of this building is chance to celebrate what can be achieved by everyone working together to support the NHS and local communities, just as she would have wanted”.

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