Provision for a 7,536 square metre community and health centre was included in the outline planning application for the ‘regeneration of the Stratford rail lands’. Permission for the development was granted in February 2005.
When London was selected to host the 2012 Games, the former Newham Primary Care Trust – now NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – and the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) inherited responsibility for the development of the centre. However, due to a decision to reduce the size of the Athletes’ Village for the Games, the building that was to contain the polyclinic was one of several cut from the plans.
NHS Newham identified the current site as being potentially suitable for a stand-alone polyclinic and, following a feasibility study, it was agreed that public funds would be better used if the ODA contributed to a permanent facility instead of building a temporary structure for the Games, as had been planned. A new agreement, issued in June 2009, provided for a health centre of 2,800 square metres. This resulted in a renewed collaboration between the ODA and NHS Newham, culminating in an NHS Newham business case in November 2009 to build a polyclinic to serve Stratford. The polyclinic plans also included a large space to be used by a Community Development Trust (CDT).
The newly formed NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group and other local stakeholders updated the plans for how the Centre could best be used to meet local needs. As a result a new, shared vision of health and wellbeing emerged. While some basics remain unchanged – such as the need to treat long term conditions – there was strong agreement that the Centre should not be just another health centre. The focus would instead be on enhancing the wider wellbeing of the population with an increased ability to provide a wider range of services in one location, from primary, secondary and community health providers, as well as from other organisations in the public and voluntary sectors, spanning prevention, treatment and support.
During the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the centre provided a broad range of medical services, including primary care, sports medicine and physical therapy, optometry, dental care, laboratory services, pharmacy, podiatry, imaging, specialist clinics and emergency services. After the Games, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) handed the centre over to the ODA, who in turn have leased it to the NHS. In order to plan and manage the use of the centre, a dedicated programme management team was assembled, including two managers who were involved in the planning and implementation of Loxford Polyclinic in Ilford, and the manager of the Centre during the Games. As a result of their experience several modifications to the building layout and its services were identified to improve the way the building worked, increase its flexibility, and allow for more intensive use of the building through the provision of multi-use rooms.
Today, the Centre will continue to build on the legacy of the London 2012 Games by providing health and wellbeing services that meet local needs and expectations, and encourage local people to improve their own health and wellbeing.