9.05.2013

Heart of the Community Beats On

Orford Jubilee Park Health Centre Celebrates its 1st Birthday

A year ago, Orford Jubilee Park Health Centre opened its doors to the public of Orford, changing the way that people accessed primary and community health services in the area. The opening of the health centre marked an important milestone in the regeneration of Orford and is the first of its type to be co-located with a sports and leisure centre and community library. One year on, the centre is thriving with increases in the number of registered patients and testimonies from patients and other users of the facility complementary about the improved environment and access to services

The development – the Orford Jubilee Neighbourhood Hub – is the part of a £30m regeneration project, and is the result of a successful partnership between Warrington Borough Council, the NHS, the third sector and the private sector. Staff from the council, Livewire and the NHS now all work together under one roof, providing services for local people. The centre also received Royal approval when, in 2012, the building was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen as part of her Diamond Jubilee tour.

To mark the occasion of its first birthday, the developer of the health facility, Renova Developments (which is a public private partnership between Fulcrum and the NHS) hosted a celebration which was attended by the key stakeholders and partners, with The Mayor of Warrington – Cllr Peter Carey attending as the guest of honour. Whilst the main purpose of the event was to thank all stakeholders, partners and staff for their hard work and commitment to making the centre such a success in its first year, it was also an opportunity to promote the key messages of a healthy lifestyle leading to a higher quality of life.

Dr. Sarah Baker, Accountable Officer of the Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Warrington CCG has been delighted to work closely with Livewire since the opening of Orford Jubilee Park. Bringing together health services and wellbeing activity in one place has provided great opportunities for joint working. The new development is a major resource for the town and Livewire’s innovative and proactive approach to bringing more wellbeing opportunities means that lots more people have given up smoking, started to take exercise, started to eat more healthily – all of which makes for a Healthier Warrington. It was the vision of colleagues at Warrington Borough Council and the former Primary Care Trust that enabled this great development”.

Speaking at the event, Dr Anita Malkhandi; GP Governing Body Member of the Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group, shared the benefits that the health centre has brought already and her hopes for the future.  Jan Souness; Managing Director of Livewire, advised how working in the health centre and co-locating has helped develop the services provided by Livewire Lifestyles and Wellbeing team which means that people have increased access to health and wellbeing initiatives.

The event was also used to launch an important new initiative to promote reading and learning. The Books on Prescription initiative which is part of a national Libraries offer, is used by GPs to refer patients to a series of self-help books, to be able to learn more about mental health issues, with a view to reducing the need for prescribed medication. Philip Jeffs, Livewire Local Studies Librarian, provided a fascinating insight into the history of Orford Park and how the community has developed over time. The celebration ended with a celebratory lunch and an opportunity for all stakeholders, partners and staff to share ideas and identify new and better ways of collaborating further.

The health centre was designed and developed by Renova Developments, a public private partnership which worked with GPs and NHS staff to design and build the £6 million health centre, and to secure funding as part of the NHS LIFT (Local Improvement Finance Trust) initiative.

Three general practices, serving more than 8000 people, moved into the health centre in May 2012. They share the building with NHS staff providing mental health services, podiatry, healthy living services, a new leg ulcer clinic, and a community pharmacy.

Since moving their branch surgery into the health centre one of the general practices; Eric Moore Partnership, has been able to see more patients as their patient list size has increased by 400 people. Their practice list size was approximately 7500 prior to their branch moving into Orford Park. The list size at 1st May is now 7900. However, the difference for the practice is that they still have two sites to offer services to their patients. The practice is now also able to open much longer hours until 8pm, to accommodate the busy lives of their patients. According to the practice, the new facility has enabled a better patient experience “with patients also being able to access other related healthcare services within the same building (treatment room services, health promotion services etc) as well as being on hand to visit the leisure facilities too”.

Although an important element, the health centre is only one part of the Neighbourhood Hub. A library, a swimming pool and outdoor sports facilities which include football pitches and a skate park, are all part of the wider regeneration programme. There are also learning facilities linked to the local college.

The project which involved people working from more than twenty different public, private and voluntary sector organisations, delivered daily challenges to the project team. However, through cooperation they found different ways of working with each other and learned together, about planning, design and building techniques, some of which were borrowed from best practice in the manufacturing industry. As a result, planning and development costs were lower.

Graham Pink, Renova’s Chief Executive said: “Orford Jubilee Neighbourhood Hub is a great example of partnership working. Using the best skills available in the public, private and third sectors we have been able to create a facility which will deliver services and improve the health and wellbeing of the local community. The facility is an example of what Government is striving to achieve but too rarely does; namely a more joined up approach to the delivery of services to improve people’s lives. ”

Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive at Warrington Borough Council said:  “The importance of health and wellbeing to Warrington’s prosperity cannot be underestimated.  This is why the Orford project is so important as it demonstrates collaboration in action at the super, purpose build site.  Fit bodies via the leisure facilities, fit minds via the library, and easy access to the NHS Services, make Orford Park unique.  Happy Birthday!”

Notes for Editors

Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group is the new organisation that has taken over the responsibility for making sure that the people of Warrington have the healthcare services they need.  There are 26 GP practices in Warrington, which are all members of the clinical commissioning group. http://www.warringtonccg.nhs.uk/

From May 2012 Leisure, Libraries and Lifestyles services transferred out of Warrington Borough Council and into a brand new Community Interest Company (CIC); a non-profit distributing organisation. This means that any profit generated will be wholly reinvested back into developing and improving LiveWire facilities and services in the future. http://www.livewirewarrington.co.uk/

 

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From left to right

1 Cllr Kate Hannon Councillor on Livewire Board
2 Jan Souness Managing Director of Livewire
3 Dr Anita Malkhandi GP at 4Seasons Medical Centre & GP Governing Body Member of Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group
4 Graham Pink Chief Executive of Renova Developments
5 Cllr Peter Carey Mayor
6 Dr Andy Davies Chair of Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group
7 Alan Yates Chair of Livewire
8 Cllr Pat Wright Councillor – Exec Board Member over Health & Wellbeing and Adult Services