July 2012 Attwood Green Health Centre

The challenge:

Park Central – on the western fringes of Birmingham city centre – is one of the biggest urban regeneration programmes in Britain.

Just a few years ago, the locality was home to Lee Bank council estate which gained regional and national notoriety for the poor state of its housing and the ferocity of protest demonstrations staged by its residents who branded it “the worst slum in Europe”.

Lee Bank was a classic example of a concrete jungle.  As its housing continued to deteriorate, so the health of its residents declined.  Around half of all children living locally had asthma.  Local residents were five times more likely to commit suicide than the Birmingham average.  Life expectancy was amongst the worst in the city.

Over the last decade, more than £260 million has been invested in the area.  Decaying 20 storey tower blocks have been demolished.  New housing has been created for rent and purchase.  Attwood Green now boasts new shopping, a hotel and seven acres of parkland all within a ten minute walk of Birmingham City Centre. Even the name Lee Bank has been consigned to history.

It’s been a dramatic physical, economic and social transformation of the area which has become a neighbourhood where people want to live.

The challenge facing health and care providers was to make their own contribution to Attwood Green’s transformation through improved and expanded services accessible to this new urban village community.

Our Right Care Right Here response

Attwood Green Health Centre was built to replace Colston Health Centre which had served the area since the 1960s.

Jointly commissioned by Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust and South Birmingham Primary Care Trust, the new, six-storey health centre represents an investment of £13 million to serve a patient population of around 16,000 and rising.

The striking building occupies a prominent position on busy Bath Row and was designed to match the locality’s tall urban skyline.

The centre accommodates two GP practices – the Hyman Practice and Bath Row Medical Practice – which relocated from the former Colston Health Centre just 200 yards away.

Attwood Green Health Centre has introduced new health services to the local community – including NHS dentistry.

Health services available from the centre include:

  • Family doctors
  • Onsite pharmacy
  • Dental facilities
  • Physiotherapy services
  • Podiatry
  • Hospital outpatient clinics
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Stop smoking clinic
  • Sexual health services.
  • Attwood Green is also home to a range of wider primary care teams including district nursing, school nursing and health visitors.