The opening of the new Hope House Healthy Living Centre offering local people access to expanded GP services, a Children’s Centre and health and wellbeing support is set to take a step forwards when building work on the project starts in Radstock in September.
The Hope House Centre will provide a new home for the town’s Hope House GP surgery and Children’s Centre services as well as offering a range of other services such as minor operations, chronic disease management and family planning. It will also offer diabetic eye screening, physiotherapy, a diabetes prevention programme and counselling services which local people would otherwise need to travel to Paulton Hospital or the Royal United Hospitals in Bath to access.
The Centre will receive £2.4m from the NHS England and NHS Improvement Estates and Technology Transformation Fund as well as £4.3m of investment from Hope House Surgery, Bath and North East Somerset Council, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and local organisation Big Local.
The NHS England and NHS Improvement Estates and Technology Transformation Fund is a national funding programme to support GP practices to make improvements to services for local patients including more modern, expanded facilities and use of new technologies.
The Healthy Living Centre incorporates a Community Health and Wellbeing space supported by the Radstock and Westfield Big Local Partnership, with a Big Local grant administered on behalf of the Big Lottery Fund. This is in partnership with local voluntary organisations such as Bath Mind and Southside Family project which will provide additional mental health support, child and parent groups, access to exercise programmes, family support and general health improvement programmes.
Healthcare specialists Osmond Tricks designed the Centre and will manage the construction phase. The building work is expected to take around 12 months with the centre targeted to open in the summer or autumn of 2021. Work on the project will take into account health and safety restraints and social distancing measures put in place because of coronavirus.
Corinne Edwards, B&NES Chief Operating Officer, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire CCG, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that building work on the new Hope House Healthy Living Centre will begin next month and I would like to pass on our thanks to everyone involved in moving this project forwards. The centre will offer local residents a wide range of health and wellbeing services under one roof and reduce the need to travel further afield to access other services.”
Stephanie Coombs, Practice Manager for Hope House Surgery said: “We are excited that work on this project is now set to begin. The Hope House Healthy Living Centre will allow us to continue to provide general practice services to the growing local population and to develop further enhanced services for our community. We know that being able to offer a range of services under one roof is really important and will deliver a number of health benefits to our population from an easily accessible location in the centre of Radstock”
Bath & North East Somerset Council will fund the part of the building that will house the Children’s Centre.
Councillor Richard Samuel, deputy leader of Bath and North East Somerset Council said: “The start of building work for the new Hope House Healthy Living Centre marks a significant step forward in the regeneration of Radstock that has been taking place over the last few years. I’m delighted that we have been able to support the creation of a centre that is truly fit for the future health and care needs of the community. It will also mean residents can access a range of services without travelling into Bath, which will not only be more convenient for them but will also help tackle the climate emergency through shorter journeys and reduced vehicle use.”
Ian Biggs, Director of Primary Care and Public Health for NHS England and NHS Improvement in the South West, said: “We are delighted to be able to contribute to this fantastic new health centre. The new purpose-built building means the people of Radstock will be able to access first-class health and care services in the town for years to come.”
Councillor Rob Appleyard, cabinet member for Adult Services, Bath & North East Somerset Council added: “COVID-19 has highlighted the need for collaboration with a strong focus on preventative measures for our wider community, so I’m delighted that Radstock is going to benefit from this integrated centre. The Children’s Centre will really help local families.”