Council approves funding of almost £1,000,000 for Isle of Dogs health centre

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Residents on the Isle of Dogs are set to see an improvement in healthcare provision thanks to a funding boost of almost £1,000,000 approved by Tower Hamlets Council this week.

Island Medical Centre in Roserton Street will receive £985,839 to fund an increase in its capacity with the aim of improving access and service provision for patients.

The proposal, approved at a meeting of the council’s Grants Determination Sub-Committee on Monday, will deliver a refurbished, modern health facility with four additional clinical rooms, the capacity for an additional 5,472 registered patients and up to 28,000 new patient appointments.

The money will be taken from contributions made by property developers as a condition of large planning applications. The cash, known as Section 106, is used to fund improvements to infrastructure, public services and other projects across the borough.

Tower Hamlets has one of the fastest growing populations in the country, with the number of residents expected to reach nearly 315,000 by 2020. The Isle of Dogs has seen a significant share of the development in recent years and that trend looks set to continue.

The rapid population growth, accompanied by longstanding income inequality challenges, places an inevitable strain on healthcare provision.

A particular area of demand is the delivery of GP services, making investment in improved premises with greater capacity a key priority.

However, against a backdrop of funding challenges across the National Health Service, securing investment for such facilities is becoming ever more difficult.

In Tower Hamlets, the council has a successful record of working with partners such as the Clinical Commissioning Group to deliver healthcare infrastructure improvements using other sources of income, particularly Section 106 contributions.

This latest investment will allow the Island Medical Centre to expand its capacity, increase the number of appointments it can offer and provide an improved service to patients.

John Biggs, Executive Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said:

“We know that the continuing growth in our population can mean that residents find it more difficult to access services such as GP appointments.

“We are committed to working with partners like the CCG to deliver the facilities needed to meet that demand but it’s right that we ask developers to help pay for it.

“By putting almost £1,000,000 towards a revitalised Island Medical Centre, we are delivering on our commitment to help Tower Hamlets residents live healthier, happier lives.”

Dr Somen Banerjee, Director of Public Health at Tower Hamlets Council, said:

“The decision to approve this funding is really positive news for the Island Medical Centre and the residents of the Isle of Dogs. We have been working in partnership with the NHS to identify where we need to increase capacity in order to deliver the quality healthcare that our residents deserve.

“This investment is part of a wider programme to meet the needs of a growing population in modern facilities to improve the overall health outcomes of the local population.”

Posted on Friday 3rd August 2018