THE Tele today takes you on a tour around Greenock's new £22m state-of the-art health centre.

The facility is now fully up and running and head of health and community care Allen Stevenson says it puts many of Inverclyde Health & Social Care Partnership's frontline services under the one roof, benefiting tens of thousands of patients who rely on them.

One of the wings, where the treatment rooms are located, is named after the much loved district nurse Janice Graham, who tragically died last year after contracting Covid.

The new centre is one of the biggest of its kind and signals a shift towards bringing services closer to communities.

Mr Stevenson said: "We have always had integrated services that work well together, now we have this fantastic facility.

"A five minute chat between district nurses and home care staff [in the same building] can help solve issues.

"When we started out this was the vision of how it could all work together.

"It is so important that our staff are looked after and I love the garden in particular, we are one of the few health centres to have one.

"You see staff sitting out there and patients as well and it's a lovely place for quiet time."

The centre, on the site of the former Wellington Academy school, has three GP practices, plus podiatry, physiotherapy, dental, speech and language, Sandyford sexual health clinics and psychology teams.

There is also district, community and school nursing, home care and social work under the one roof.

Health bosses have also made room for acute clinics, which might have traditionally taken place in hospitals.

Inverclyde HSCP service manager Jeanette Hawthorn told the Telegraph: "It is about bringing health and social care services closer to the community.

"That is what we are trying to do here."

As well as offering first class health and social care services for patients, there is also an emphasis on staff wellbeing, with open spaces, roof terraces and places to meet.

Community nursing colleagues Anne Crawley, Sheena McAnally and Rosemary Dixon are among the employees relishing the new environment.

Anne said: "It is a brilliant facility for the staff and for patients coming in here.

"It is lovely."

Many of the services have moved from the former health centre in nearby Duncan Street, while other HSCP teams have joined them.

Social worker Shona Docherty, who assesses the needs of adults who need care and support, said: "We have settled in really well.

"The centre is brilliant and many other services we work with are based here too."

Service manager for integrated care and support Alan Brown added: "Our services have changed beyond all recognition since we first started talking about integrated care.

"Now here we have a facility to match our ambitions."

A patient wing with treatment rooms, used by many different services, is named after Janice Graham, the district nurse who was the first frontline NHS worker in Scotland to lose her life to coronavirus.

Servive manager Jeanette said: "Janice's loss affected so many people here and we wanted to have a fitting tribute in place for her.

"As well as having the wing of the health centre named after her there is a memorial plaque in the garden.

"It is a lovely place for people to go and sit, our patients and staff love it."

A big effort has gone into putting a transport strategy in place, after concerns were raised initially about access.

Bus routes have been changed to make sure people can get to and from the centre as easily as possible.

Jeanette added: "We had a very successful transport consultation with the public and worked closely with Strathclyde Partnership for Transport."