People in Plymouth will be able to get advice on how to be happier and healthier as part of a new approach to health across the city.
A dozen wellbeing hubs will open across neighbourhoods over the next two years as part of an initiative designed to focus on prevention and make services easier to access in neighbourhoods.
The hubs were officially launched at the Jan Cutting Centre on Friday 23 March by Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England. The wellbeing hubs are a joint scheme run by Plymouth City Council and the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG).
Help people stay healthy
Councillor Lynda Bowyer, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “We are changing how we help Plymouth people stay healthy and want to see fewer hospital admissions and more support in the city’s neighbourhoods so that people – from babies to pensioners – can lead longer, happier and healthier lives.
“This is about preventing ill health and helping our residents to take better care of themselves and others.”
Four main aims
The new scheme has four main aims, which are to improve the health and wellbeing outcomes for local people, reduce inequalities in health and wellbeing, improve people’s experience of care and improve the sustainability of the health and wellbeing system.
The hubs are a key part of the city’s One System, One Aim vision which looks to transform care by taking a different approach.
From patients to people – the hubs will be designed to engage with people recognising they have strengths and assets and with support can achieve outcomes without being viewed as patients who need things doing to them
From care settings to places and communities – the hubs will be a place and community-based offer and will help to develop communities that care
From what’s the matter with you to what matters to you – the plan is to focus on the assets of individuals and build on that to achieve the things they want to achieve
From illness management to wellness support – the focus is on prevention and wellbeing
I commend Plymouth for its leadership
Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, said: “Often when we are talking about how the NHS needs to change, the example of all the great things happening in Plymouth comes up.
“The reason I was so keen to be here today was to have the chance to see first-hand the leadership which the city council, the Wolseley Trust and the many voluntary and community organisations and of course my colleagues in the NHS are doing, by making a reality of what community-based services should look like.
“We all know the N in NHS stands for national. I always think it should be a double N in the NHS because really it’s a neighbourhood health service, and being a neighbourhood health service it needs to have the services and feel of centres such as this.
“I commend Plymouth for its leadership in setting an example not only for the other hubs that will set up in the rest of the city, but that other parts of the country can learn from and emulate.”
Easy access to helpful advice and support
Dr Nick Roberts, Chief Officer for both Devon Clinical Commissioning Groups, said; “We all know the pressure our health and social care system is under and we are also aware that people are living longer with more complex conditions.
This requires us to think differently about how we provide services that better support people to live as independently as possible. Health and wellbeing hubs will enable us to provide easy access to helpful advice and support.”
Community-led approach to health improvement
The Wolseley Trust’s Jan Cutting Healthy Living Centre based in North Prospect, Plymouth is first to be designated in the network of wellbeing hubs.
The Healthy Living Centre is a neighbourhood-based, community-led approach to health improvement providing services and support in communities experiencing social and health inequalities.
The Centre is linked to GP surgeries and can link people with support in the community that can help. These services include:
Housing, legal benefits, debt support, care advocacy
Counselling, befriending and other support groups
Employment and volunteering
Education, training, learning and digital inclusion
Healthy lifestyles and health promotion
Social and peer support activities
Arts, crafts and therapeutic activities
Sarah Taylor, Chief Executive of the Wolseley Trust said: “The Trust is delighted to be a partner in this new vision and is looking forward to building on the work of the Healthy Living Centre and continuing our work within our local community and with our partner organisations as part of this city-wide approach.”
Up to 12 new GPs for Plymouth
Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, also today announced that Plymouth will receive up to a dozen new GPs through an international recruitment programme.
Speaking on a visit to the city today, he said that doctors should be in post by the end of the year after Plymouth was prioritised in the £100 million programme to bolster primary care services throughout England.
NHS England is also funding 12 GP trainee places as part of the Targeted Enhanced Recruitment scheme for Plymouth.
The scheme, run by Health Education England, provides a salary supplement of £20,000 for would-be GPs who train in areas where it has historically been difficult to recruit.
The doctors will begin their training this summer and the supplement will enable them to put down roots in the area.
More pharmacists for Plymouth
Plymouth will also benefit from an increase in the number of clinical pharmacists, from the equivalent of 11 to 15 and a half full-time posts.
These clinical pharmacists will work across 36 GP practices, offering advice on medicines and minor ailments and so freeing up GPs to see sicker patients.
The announcement came as Simon Stevens toured the Jan Cutting Healthy Living Centre and Derriford Hospital during a visit to the city.