Hackney buildings to be developed into two new GP premises

Plans for the development of two new GP premises for local residents have been approved by the Council’s Planning Committee, including the redevelopment of a stunning but unused Clapton landmark – the Portico building.

Lower Clapton Group Practice – a long-established GP practice with over 15,000 patients, making it one of the largest in Hackney – plan to move into the Grade II listed Portico building outside Clapton Girls School following an extension and upgrade to become a local health centre.

Spring Hill Practice, another large practice with over 14,500 patients, plan to move into a new purpose-built two storey surgery on Belfast Road in Stoke Newington. This will be constructed on a Council-owned site that was previously occupied by Victorian industrial premises which are deteriorating and have been empty for over five years.

The developments, which are subject to further detailed work before being confirmed, are a partnership between Hackney Council and the NHS. The projects are set to be the first major upgrade and redevelopment to GP premises in Hackney for over ten years, and have been designed in collaboration with the practices, their patients, and Healthwatch Hackney.

Lower Clapton Group practice is currently operating out of premises that are very outdated and too small. Spring Hill Practice is operating out of two converted flats on the Guinness Estate in Hackney and using a portacabin for their reception, with their lease due to expire within the next 2 years. The new buildings will provide more space and better facilities for patients. The increased capacity and additional services on offer will also help the practices to both recruit and retain more staff.

Cllr Chris Kennedy, Cabinet Member for Health, Adult Social Care and Leisure
I’m delighted that these investments in better health facilities for local people have been approved. Patients will directly benefit from new facilities and additional services because of this proposal, and practice staff will also benefit from working on new and improved sites.

With the Portico building, we are proud to continue the tradition of utilising this building as a space that benefits the local community and find a new purpose for the site instead of letting one of our local landmarks fall into disuse. Similarly, the new development for Spring Hill Practice will provide an opportunity to utilise a previously neglected space.

It is also gratifying for us to know that through funding this scheme, Hackney Council is playing its part in the London Councils’ pledge to improve the primary care estate to make it fit for the changing needs of its diverse communities.
Cllr Chris Kennedy, Cabinet Member for Health, Adult Social Care and Leisure

Richard Bull, Programme Director for Primary Care at NHS City and Hackney North East London CCG, said: “This is a fantastic example of how the NHS and the Council can work together to improve services for local people. I’m really excited that plans have been approved

for the Lower Clapton Group Practice and Spring Hill Practice to move into buildings that are fit for purpose.

“They will also provide space and opportunities for other GP practices in their local network to come together and for other services (including from social care, voluntary organisations and charities) to meet as part of the local Neighbourhood.”

The Portico is a notable landmark in Hackney, not only for its striking architectural design but for its history as a site of local philanthropy, having at various times been the London Orphan Asylum and the ‘National Barracks’ of the Salvation Army.

The new local health centre at the Portico will include:

  • 18 consulting rooms
  • 6 treatment rooms
  • 1 minor procedures room
  • Administrative, staff and patient accommodation and reception areas

The new surgery for Spring Hill Practice will include:

  • 20 consulting rooms
  • 3 treatment rooms
  • 1 minor procedures room
  • Administrative, staff and patient accommodation and reception areas

Development of the sites is expected to begin within the next year, subject to further work on the project.