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Children's Health Centre unveiled

A Children's Health Centre catering to the medical needs of Gibraltar's youngsters was unveiled today.

The Centre offers dental clinics, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, dietetics, and immunisation amongst other services.

The new service will bring together primary and secondary services for children in one location, and the Centre located at Block 9 Europort can be accessed through an separate entrance on the left side of the building.

In order for there not to be any disturbance to the delivery of care, there will be a phased approach to commencing services in the new Children’s Centre. Phase 1, commencing on July 17, will include staff induction and Child Health clinics, Neurodisability assessment/reviews with Paediatric multi-disciplinary team assessments, Paediatric Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Dietetics, Diabetes clinics, and Gibraltar Young Minds.

This will be followed by Phase Two, commencing on August 12, with Dental services and the Occupational Therapy sensory room.

The Children's Health Centre was launched by Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, the Minister for Health Neil Costa and Deputy Medical Director Dr Krishna Rawal.

“My Government have always maintained our willingness to listen to our community and improve services in Gibraltar in consultation with service users. This is indeed a very proud moment for me as Chief Minister and, equally importantly, as a parent, to see this welcoming and bright new Children’s Health Centre open for patients," Mr Picardo said.

"This has to be one of the standout projects for our health services, and I am very excited to watch the services establish and grow in time. I am also enormously proud of the enthusiasm and determination of the primary care teams, and in particular Mrs Rose Suissa, to deliver something truly incredible and a lasting legacy to the health and wellbeing of our children.”

Specialised GP clinics will commence as from early September and will see the commencement of primary care services, such as specialist GP services, nurse practitioner clinics, community
midwifery and child protection assessments. Secondary care services, which include visiting consultant clinics, the new adolescent service and a consultant paediatric service for children with
complex and chronic health needs will also form part of the second phase of implementation.

Patients should continue to attend the existing PCC at the ICC. For phases one and two, attendances at the Children’s Health Centre at Europort will be by appointment only. The GHA will issue online notices and information leaflets to the community for all information.

“There have been incredibly dynamic changes and marked improvements in healthcare across the GHA," Mr Costa said.

"All the work and initiatives in Primary Care have improved access to our GPs and clinical staff, and I have been immensely proud to be part of the transformation of the service. The opening of the Children’s HealthCentrewillforever be a memorable moment of deep satisfaction and pride for me personally and for theGovernment. This Children’s Health Centre is something incredibly special, modern and to rival leading healthcare systems in other countries."

"To my mind, this project, along with the new Primary Care Centre, will now launch many more reforms and enhancements in care as both primary and secondary care become so much closer and more integrated. As a parent, and a Gibraltarian, I feel privileged and extremely grateful that we have access to a modern and dynamic centre of this standard when attending to our children’s healthcare needs.”

By the end of September, a lift will be installed to provide better access to persons with additional mobility needs. Parking availability has also been arranged for service users and this will be introduced, by late August, on a pay and display basis with a two-hour free parking for persons attending the centre.

The more elective primary care aspect of services in the Children Health Centre will be fully complemented by the new PrimaryCareCentre,which will continue to provide services to children,
especially children with acute illness. The new Primary Care Centre based in St Bernard’s Hospital would be in an enhanced position to provide the desired care for the acutely unwell child by virtue ofthe physical proximity to comprehensiveA&E services and the full Paediatric team housed on the same site as St Bernard’s Hospital.

“It has been a great honour to be so involved in this project since the very beginning," said Primary Care Manager Rose Suissa.

"I am so very delighted to see the Children’s Health Centre being opened to our community. I am equally excited to see the services expand and develop over time, as we review our services and work closely with our health care teams and services users.”

The launch of the Children's Health Centre was well attended with Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Garcia, and Ministers Dr John Cortes, Samantha Sacramento, Paul Balban and Albert Isola, and Opposition MP Elliott Phillips and Independent MP Marlene Hassan Nahon.