Residents are being urged to have their say in Horwich on proposed plans to bring forward the development of a new Health and Wellbeing Hub with a circa 170-space car park next to the New Leisure Centre, on Victoria Road in the Town Centre.
NHS Bolton, Bolton CCG and Bolton Council are seeking the views of the Horwich community on the proposal to relocate GP services to a new Hub. The plans would see the relocation of two GP practices: Pikes View Medical Centre and Bolton Community Practice, which would join up Community Services from the Royal Bolton Hospital Foundation Trust. This would create a huge opportunity for the merger of health, wellness, and leisure services to the benefit of Horwich residents.
The new Health Centre would provide a number of health and wellness benefits to the local community, including: a range of high-quality clinical services and treatments in an innovative and fully dementia friendly and accessible centre; the joining of teams and integrated services would give patients seamless care with in-hub referrals to local voluntary and third sector organisations and services including mental health support, health visiting, occupational therapy, midwifery, podiatry and much more . The Hub would be home to a primary care team consisting of pharmacists, physicians, nurses and mental health practitioners offering a seven-day extended service in the heart of the community. The plans could also allow for some services such as MR scanning to be provided at the Hub rather than at the hospital meaning patients could be treated locally.
The proposal for a new Health Centre was previously outlined as an option for the former Leisure Centre site in the consultation undertaken to develop Horwich Town Centre Masterplan including Key Development Proposals in January 2020.
At the time of the consultation the proposal for the Health Centre received positive feedback from residents and stakeholders but the need for additional parking was highlighted. As a result of public feedback, the development plans now include a circa 170-space car park on the 2,312 sq m site, which could be utilised by users of the health centre and leisure centre as well as providing long-stay car parking for businesses and visitors to the town centre.
The community engagement will form the basis for the next steps in the process which will involve further detailed analysis of the costs and implications of the development alongside planning approval for the scheme and the securing of NHS funding from the Estates and Technology Transformation Fund (ETTF).
Disposing of the land to the NHS, via a long-lease to the NHS, subject to planning and confirmation of funding for the proposed development, would then need to be approved by the Council’s Deputy Leader, Executive Cabinet Member. Work would not be expected to start until 2022 at the earliest.
Community engagement will start on Monday, March 15 and ends, Sunday March 28. Fill in a short questionnaire online at: www.investinbolton.com/Horwichhealthhub
The authority will also be consulting specific groups including patients from the GP practices, Businesses, Members and Councillors as well as the Town Centre Steering Group.
Deputy Leader, Cllr Martyn Cox, said: “This is a great opportunity for residents in Horwich to have their say on the proposed plans for a Health Hub. It is very important that the vision for the Hub is shaped by the people and communities who would use the facilities and services it could deliver.”
Dr Anne Talbot, Clinical Director, Bolton Community Practice, added “This is an enormously exciting ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity to develop a facility for the Horwich community which is fit for the future needs of the population and ultimately aims to provide the bedrock for an improvement in the health and wellbeing outcomes of the people of Horwich.’