Latest plans for West End Health and Wellbeing Centre unveiled
The latest plans for the proposed West End Health and Wellbeing Centre in Plymouth have been unveiled – and local people are being invited to have their say.
Plymouth City Council and NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are working on plans for a new, purpose-built health, care and wellbeing centre in the West End, near Colin Campbell Court. The centre would include a range of services all under one roof in a convenient location.
The new building would not only provide a much-needed modern health and wellbeing facility, it would also help kick-start the regeneration of the area. Having GPs, dental care professionals, nurses, mental health service providers, other professionals and the voluntary sector working in a single setting opens up great new prospects for joined-up, seamless care.The project team is working on a planning application for the new building and as part of the process, they are keen to show local people the current designs and invite them to have their say. They have therefore arranged two Community Design Engagement Events for local people to be able to share their views, both to be held at The Plot, 80-84 Union St, Stonehouse, Plymouth PL1 3EZ on
- 14 October, 2 to 7pm
- 11 November, 2 to 7pm
The events will feature information and a presentation and a chance to meet and talk to members of the project team. Each meeting will show the latest plans at that date.
Jo Turl, director of out-of-hospital commissioning at Devon CCG, said: “The project is gaining momentum and we’re hoping to submit a planning application in December. It’s a complex project and we’re really keen to hear what people have to say about our plans for the health centre building – we look forward to sharing our ideas and hearing people’s feedback.”
Information will also be published online at www.devonccg.nhs.uk/plymouth-centre where there will also be an online survey for anyone who can’t make the events. Feedback will then be fed into the planning application development work with a view to submitting an application to Plymouth City Council.
Having listened to local feedback, the current thinking on potential services for the building includes (all subject to confirmation):
- Relocation of existing general practice (GP) services – North Road West Medical Centre, Adelaide Surgery and Armada Surgery
- Outpatient services provided by University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, which runs Derriford Hospital.
- Mental health services
- Dentistry and oral health improvement
- Community health services
- Voluntary, community and social enterprise sector services
- Diagnostic services, including X-ray
Councillor Patrick Nicholson, Deputy Leader, who is also responsible for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “Some really exciting ideas are coming together – not just about the services people would like to see in the hub, but also the look and feel of the building. I am particularly delighted to see dentistry earmarked for the hub as we all know only too well the on-going difficulties here in Plymouth. It’s also great to see mental health services very much on the table. I am very encouraged by the amount of positive comments and feedback this project has received so far and look forward to hearing what people think in this next stage of engagement. We are listening.”
“I’m equally delighted that we have managed to secure a city centre location for this important new facility, breathing new life and opportunity into the West End and bringing more people back into the city centre.”
Building on the site would involve demolition of a number of buildings along Western Approach – from Costless up to and including Maxim. The project team is working with all of the affected business and is hoping to relocate Costless nearby.
Steve Hughes, City Centre manager added: “When I saw these initial plans I was blown away by them and I’m really excited that this centre could be right here in the West End. “It will transform the look and feel of this area, it will bring in health professionals to the city centre and hundreds of people, who will spend money in cafés and shops locally. It’s a game changer for the business in the West End.”
Local people have already been involved in shaping the plans. In spring 2021, the NHS and the council ran a local engagement programme asking people to share their views on the services and facilities they think could go in the building. Nudge Community Builders ran engagement events to talk to people in and around Stonehouse, as well as the many community organisations based there.
The outcomes of the engagement process have been reported to the project team who are using them to help shape the ‘model of care’ for the building, which sets out the services that will be provided there. A summary of the outcomes will be available at the forthcoming engagement events. Over the summer, the three GP practices that would like to relocate to the building – North Road West Medical Centre, Adelaide Surgery and Armada Surgery – carried out an engagement programme with their patients and local partners, asking them to share their views on the possible move.
The practices are all currently located in outdated premises and moving to a bright, modern, and purpose-built facility would help secure their long-term future. The practices, which are not proposing to merge as part of the process, are now considering the outcomes of the process. Wider benefits of this new centre mean that more people could be treated locally rather than having to go to Derriford Hospital. It also brings an opportunity to coordinate care across different disciplines and to treat illnesses early so that they don’t become more serious.
Current plans for the West End Health and Wellbeing Centre, which are all subject to planning consent, show:
- A three-storey building with a total floor area of about 5,800m2
- A ground floor devoted to non-clinical community spaces designed to be light, airy and welcoming
- A central hub in the building incorporating waiting area, café, seating, community kitchen/dining and other group activity functions
- A central courtyard to bring light and natural ventilation to the heart of the building
- Clinical spaces on the upper floors
- ‘Biophilic’ architecture – which uses natural and nature-inspired features to help connect the building and the people who use it to the natural environment – with lots of landscaped spaces
- Nearby accessible parking
- Sustainable methods of construction would be used and it would be efficient to run and will benefit the environment by being more energy efficient.
The project team is also setting itself the ambitious targets of achieving the BREEAM Excellent standard and net zero carbon.Local people can have their say in a number of ways:
- Attend the engagement events
- Read details of the proposals on NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group’s website from 14 October and complete a brief feedback survey
- Write to West End Health and Wellbeing Centre feedback, NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, Devon, EX2 4QD