WORK is under way on pioneering plans for a health and wellbeing ‘one-stop shop’ in Warrington town centre aimed at helping people live as happily, healthily and independently as possible.
The former Contact Warrington centre, on Horsemarket Street, is being transformed into a new Living Well Hub, which has received £3million funding from Warrington’s Town Deal as part of a £22million programme of connected schemes across Warrington.
The Hub, part of the town’s wider Living Well programme, is set to open later this year and will provide a range of accessible healthcare services from multiple providers under one roof in a central location.
Living Well is a borough-wide programme which aims to connect people, communities and services to enable residents to live healthy, fulfilling lives and take greater control over their own health, wellbeing and resilience.
With a focus on early intervention and the prevention of both physical and mental ill health, the Living Well Hub is therefore intended to be a safe space where residents can go to talk and get advice in a bid to tackle any challenges that may be impacting negatively on their general health and wellbeing.
The Hub will not be a traditional walk-in centre for treating injuries and illnesses. Instead, people from across Warrington can get guidance and information to assist them with identifying potential problems earlier, before any traditional intervention via their GP or hospital is required.
A range of services will be available at the Hub, including:
- support for children and families about how to lead healthier and more active lives
- assistance for older residents with early signs of frailty who want to continue to live independently at home
- health visitor advice and guidance
- antenatal/postnatal clinics
- dementia assessments and support
- support for people providing care to others
These services, alongside further support being confirmed for the Hub, will in time help to ease pressure on other health and care services across the town such as GP and hospital appointments. It will as also have a positive impact on future demands for nursing and social care.
The Town Deal-funded initiative will see the spaces in the new Hub shared by teams from Warrington Borough Council, Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust. The voluntary and charitable sector will also be a valuable key partner, providing services to support individuals and families alongside the statutory providers.
Prof Simon Constable, Chief Executive of Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I am delighted that work has started on the new Living Well Hub which I know will be a real asset to Warrington residents and the town centre itself.
“Being able to provide the most timely and appropriate care and support in the heart of the community, in a central location which is more convenient to access, will enable our clinical teams to assist patients earlier.
“It is proven that earlier interventions by the right care professionals in the right place can prevent or reduce hospital admissions and lengthy hospital stays. Creating this space under one roof for our health and social care partners, supported by our excellent voluntary sector, will ensure a better use of resources which will ultimately help us achieve improved outcomes and experiences for our patients.”
Cllr Paul Warburton, Warrington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Statutory Health and Adult Social Care, said: “The Hub will be an open, welcoming space for people to drop-in to start a conversation about their health and wellbeing, pick up some information, or get some basic advice and guidance.
“It will provide the winning model of using people’s existing strengths and identify local networks of support to enable people to live well, become healthier and remain independent for longer.
“We hope that once built, the Hub will also give people a new and different reason to come back into the town centre, which in turn will help to support local businesses and a thriving economy.”
Plans for the three-storey building were approved in November 2022 and include the construction of a rooftop extension and refreshment area. The Hub will be accessible to the whole community throughout the week, with the final opening hours and rota of activities to be confirmed in due course.
Funding for Warrington’s £22m Town Deal was given the go ahead by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in February 2022 via the Government’s Towns Fund. The Town Deal comprises seven projects, including the Living Well Hub.
For more information about the Living Well Hub, visit: warrington.gov.uk/living-well-hub
Warrington Place partners and stakeholders pictured outside the former Contact Centre which is being transformed into a new Living Well Hub
Pictured back row, from left, are: Aravind Komuravelli, Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director for Older Adult services at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust; Caroline Lane, Strategic Project Manager at Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Amanda Amesbury, Director of Children’s Social Care at Warrington Borough Council; Nichola Newton, Principal and CEO at Warrington and Vale Royal College; Dr Ted Adams, Executive Medical Director at Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust; Carl Marsh, Place Director for Warrington
Front row, from left: Cllr Paul Warburton, Cabinet Member for Statutory Health and Adult Social Care at Warrington Borough Council; Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, Cabinet Member for Health at Warrington Borough Council; Lucy Gardner, Director of Strategy and Partnerships at Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Stephen Bennett, Head of Strategy and Partnerships at Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Dave Thompson MBE, Chief Executive Officer of Warrington Disability Partnership; Steve Park, Director of Growth at Warrington Borough Council; Steve McGuirk, Chairman of Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust