Tessa Jowell Health Centre in Dulwich, London

Tessa Jowell Health Centre celebrates 1st anniversary after year of providing vital support for the NHS and local residents

The Tessa Jowell Health Centre in Dulwich, south east London celebrated its first anniversary on 26 May, with new figures highlighting the important role the building is already playing to support local residents and the NHS at such a critical time. The health centre opened at the height of the first lockdown and has been vital to the local NHS response to COVID-19, treating patients closer to home so hospitals could focus on critical care.

The new two-storey healthcare building was designed to integrate a range of health and wellbeing services all under one roof to help meet the needs of the growing local population. Services range from a GP surgery, mental health provision and adult and children’s community services, through to state-of-the-art medical facilities such as a renal dialysis unit, cardiology and respiratory diagnostics.


The Tessa Jowell Health Centre was delivered via the NHS Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) Programme, a public private partnership led by Community Health Partnerships, working in collaboration with NHS South East London Clinical Commissioning Group, South London Health Partnership (LIFT company) and investment partner Fulcrum, to deliver the £22.5m project. Despite the huge challenges created by COVID-19, the new building was completed and opened to patients in May 2020 – a great example of the public and private sectors working in partnership to support the NHS at such a challenging time.

After a year of being open, new figures have highlighted the key role the Tessa Jowell Health Centre is already playing to support local residents and the NHS including:

  • Over 50,000 COVID-19 vaccinations administered to local residents (as of May 2021)
  • The Renal unit is now serving over 60 dialysis patients from the local area daily
  • Blood tests for more than 40,000 patients at the centre, reducing waiting times for results
  • 3,500 physiotherapy patients supported
  • Hundreds of mothers and children supported through maternity and health visiting services

The new building was named after the late Dame Tessa Jowell MP in recognition of the huge contribution she made to the Dulwich constituency and to wider healthcare services across London. Dame Tessa’s daughter Jess Mills said:

“Mum was endlessly passionate about helping her constituents and doing everything she could to ensure accessible healthcare for all, so it’s the perfect tribute to see this new health centre already making such a huge contribution to local people. It has been such a challenging year for all of us but this first anniversary is a chance to celebrate what can be achieved by everyone working together to support the NHS and local communities, just as she would have wanted”.

Community Health Partnerships (CHP) is wholly owned by the Department of Health and Social Care and a key member of the NHS Family. CHP set out to improve community-based health and social care services, by working to improve the NHS estate through Public Private Partnerships established by the NHS LIFT programme.

Malcolm Twite, Chief Commercial Officer at CHP said:

“The Tessa Jowell health centre is a great example of how high-quality buildings improve access and enable the integration of health services for the benefits of the local community. From the dialysis patients who no longer have to travel to hospital, to the improved environment that has transformed working conditions for staff, this is 21st century health care facilitated by a modern and fit for purpose building. Partnership working has been key; with the local NHS to really understand local needs, and in collaboration with private partners to bring the additional skills and investment.  It is great to see the centre delivering significant benefit to the local community.”

Fulcrum work in partnership with CHP under the NHS LIFT Programme, and have delivered more than 40 healthcare centres across London and the North West.

Fulcrum CEO Sarah Beaumont-Smith said:

The Tessa Jowell Health Centre was delivered in the most challenging of circumstances last year, and it shows the strength of the public and private sectors working together to support the NHS and deliver quality community healthcare when it has never been needed more.

“One year on and it’s fantastic to see the Tessa Jowell Centre already playing such a vital role for local residents, offering them a range of crucial services all under one roof. As restrictions continue to lift, we can’t wait to welcome many more local residents into this fantastic new facility for the community.”

Sam Hepplewhite, Southwark Borough Director, NHS South East London Clinical Commissioning Group said:

“The building formed part of our clinical strategy for bringing together a wide range of health services to meet the needs of a growing population and is helping to realise our vision of integrated care.

“It is an example of true collaboration across the NHS, CHP and LIFT and really demonstrates what improvements can be made by working together and ultimately delivering a much improved patient experience in a wonderful health centre.”

Read more: Tessa Jowell Health Centre case study

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26 May 2021

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