New medical centre, community hub and housing on the way in Whitchurch
A new medical centre, community hub and supported living facilities are to be built in Whitchurch after Shropshire Council agreed to invest in the project as part of plans to regenerate the town.
Shropshire Council, Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and The Wrekin Housing Trust will now work together to regenerate and redevelop the Pauls Moss site into a hub of housing, healthcare and community activity that will meet the needs of the local community and reflect the future design and delivery of health and social care services.
Shropshire Council formally agreed to support the scheme at meetings of Cabinet and full Council last week.
Work is expected to take around three years and be completed by 2022.
The project will be funded by Shropshire Council, The Wrekin Housing Trust, Homes England, NHS England, Shropshire CCG and the One Public Estate programme.
The Pauls Moss scheme will provide the Whitchurch area with modern primary health and care services, and bring together three existing GP practices into a single site so that services can be developed which are fully integrated with specialist housing and other community services.
Working in partnership, Shropshire Council, Shropshire CCG, and The Wrekin Housing Trust have identified the opportunity to develop a new fit-for-purpose modern medical centre to cope with current demand and the expected growth in population of the town and surrounding area.
The Wrekin Housing Trust is proposing to build new specialist accommodation for over 55s in the form of lifetime apartments and potentially a number of bungalows that all give lifestyle choices for the ageing population of Whitchurch and north Shropshire.
The Pauls Moss site is currently run down and has a mix of redundant buildings and some dated social housing units.
Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s deputy leader and Cabinet member for corporate and commercial services, said:
“This exciting and innovative project is brilliant news for Whitchurch and Whitchurch residents. It provides an opportunity to link the medical centre and housing with a community hub space that will enable local partners to provide a wide range of activities and services to local residents and patients.
“The need for a new medical centre in Whitchurch is well known, and this project will make sure that this need is met, and that Whitchurch has modern, accessible, and fit for purpose facilities that will help deliver the best services for patients, but also attract a high-quality workforce to the town.”
Dr Julian Povey, Chair of Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group and GP, said:
“This is a really exciting project that brings health and social care together to support patients and local people. It will become a real community asset by uniting local services on to a single, dedicated site with purpose-built facilities.”
Wayne Gethings, managing director of The Wrekin Housing Trust, said:
“Together with Shropshire Council and Shropshire CCG, we’ve designed a forward-thinking solution that will provide attractive, modern facilities that will not only fulfil the needs of today, but also be there for future generations.
“Combining specialist retirement housing with health and social care facilities is a model that is already proving popular, and invaluable, elsewhere in the county, and we’re thrilled Shropshire Council is supporting this development in Whitchurch, which will enrich the town.”
Brian Reynolds, Programme Director - One Public Estate, Local Government Association, said:
“Shropshire’s One Public Estate Partnership have worked at pace to bring this project forward since receiving the OPE funding earlier in the year. We look forward to seeing this this rural health project progress and support the people of Whitchurch.”
- Whitchurch has an ageing population and has few specialist facilities to support people with their health, care and well-being. There is also an identified need for specialist housing for older people.
- Services and activities that could be potentially organised and delivered from the medical centre and community hub may include:
- a place to socialise, meet others and do things that will help with staying mentally and physically active
- a place to promote health, wellbeing and independence
- multi-use spaces where people and groups can meet
- a location for high-tech assistive technologies that connect the community to care services. The ability to incorporate assistive technologies into the public areas will mean that a much greater range of people will be able to benefit from them.
- healthy lifestyle support using digital technology for linked to exercise through guided programmes and exercise on prescription
- social prescribing
- care co-ordination
- health promotion, sign posting and navigation
- on-site café to support healthy diets and offer a range of healthy meals
- an on-site outdoor gym to incorporate a fitness dimension to the project.
- The scheme is subject to a planning application being approved
- As the scheme will go out to tender, the cost of the scheme and the value of the Shropshire Council investment is commercially sensitive and therefore cannot be disclosed.