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A topping out ceremony has been held to mark a major milestone in the construction of a new £9 million Integrated Care Centre (ICC) set to transform care for the elderly and reduce unnecessary hospital admissions.

In a new and unique approach to health care, the groundbreaking development in East Hull will primarily treat elderly patients with long term conditions who have been referred to their GP as being at risk of hospital admission.

Now, as partners and developers mark this significant progress in the development, NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has announced the facility will be named after Hull’s ‘Bee Lady’, Jean Bishop, who has raised £119,000 for older people’s charity Age UK while wearing her trademark bee costume since 2000.

Jean, 95, was awarded a Pride of Britain Award in 2013, carried the Olympic torch in 2012 and has been voted to receive the honour of Freedom of Hull in recognition of her tireless efforts.

The centre, which sits on the site of the former David Lister School in East Hull, will be open seven days per week and aims to keep residents fit, out of hospital and independent in their own homes.

It will be known as The Jean Bishop Integrated Care Centre when it is completed in April 2018.

Emma Latimer, NHS Hull CCG Chief Officer, said: “We know people don’t want to be in hospital unless they absolutely need to be.

“We have listened to this and have developed a fantastic new facility that people can be referred into for medical treatment and then discharged, with support, to the best place for them – whether it is their home or an intermediate care facility.

“As we reach this important milestone in the building’s development, I am very proud of the partnership with the local authority, fire service and providers all working together to make sure patients get the best possible care.

“Jean Bishop has been an ambassador for Age UK for so many years and we are delighted we can name this new centre after her to truly recognise what she has done for this city and Hull’s communities.

“Jean has helped people to maintain their independence. It’s what we are all about in the NHS, keeping people healthy, happy and independent in their own homes wherever possible – and Jean is a brilliant advocate for that.”

Following assessment, patients will have an extensive integrated care plan formed and a care coordinator appointed on the same day, with therapists, voluntary services and other specialist services based under one roof.

Jean said: “I consider it an honour and a privilege to have such an important and worthwhile care centre for the use of the local community opened in my name.

“I couldn’t believe it when I was told. I was stunned and wondered what I had done to deserve it. I have never had anything in my name before and I wanted to run around and tell everybody.

“I think the Integrated Care Centre is a good idea to bring everything together.”

The Jean Bishop Integrated Care Centre also includes a home for Humberside Fire and Rescue Service’s East Hull crew, who are currently based at the Southcoates Lane station.

Building on the success of the Humberside Fire and Rescue Service and health-led Hull FIRST Falls Response Team, specially trained fire personnel will support community safety and rehabilitation programmes.

Hull City Council gifted the land for the facility, as well the Newbridge Village social housing scheme for over 65s, and council leader Councillor Stephen Brady said care services must continue to evolve to ensure the best possible support is available to vulnerable residents.

He said: “I’m delighted to see the topping out of this important scheme taking place.

“Both the Integrated Care Centre and Newbridge Village schemes are incredibly important for this area and we are really pleased to have made the land available for them.

“The new centre is a great step forward in partnership working, which will bring positive changes to the delivery of healthcare, and it is fantastic to see two developers working together on these schemes for the benefit of our residents.”

Developer Citycare has developed over £100 million of new and improved health and wellbeing facilities on behalf of its public sector partners across Hull since 2004 and has appointed Sewell Construction and Sewell Facilities Management to build and maintain the purpose-built facility following a robust procurement process.

Alan Johnson, Citycare’s Independent Chair, said: “It’s fantastic to mark the construction progress of the 14th community service hub that Citycare has built in Hull and reach this significant milestone in the development.

“Citycare is a public private partnership, with the NHS being the biggest single shareholder, and has transformed the landscape of the health service in Hull over the past 13 years.

“The purpose of the Integrated Care Centre is to transform health and wellbeing across the city while ensuring every pound is put back into the community.

“Working in partnership to create flexible, innovative and affordable estate solutions means we can give the NHS the best quality and adaptable facilities to operate from, and, as service needs change over the years, these buildings are designed to respond to those changes.

“This facility is particularly unique in its nature, including providing a base Humberside Fire and Rescue Service’s East Hull crew and their fantastic support regarding falls.

“This truly is an overall pioneering approach for the benefit of the community and is leading the way in this sector.”

Department of Health owned company Community Health Partnerships (CHP) is investing in the building and will also be head tenant.

CHP Developments Director Eugene Prinsloo said: “We are very happy to be investing in the centre, which will provide high quality facilities for patients and staff, and bring significant benefits to the local community.

“This shows what is achievable through good integrated working between CHP, Citycare, NHS Hull CCG, Hull City Council and Humberside Fire and Rescue Service.

“It’s great to reach this milestone through partnership and we are very grateful to the council for its contribution in making the land available for the project to be brought forward.”

Hull East MP Karl Turner welcomed the facility and said: “Citycare has helped transform the health estate across Hull and I am delighted East Hull has been chosen for this multi-million pound investment. The centre will be an innovative facility that will help radically improve services in the area.”

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