Exciting plans to develop a fully integrated community focussed health and wellbeing campus at Halton Hospital have been unveiled as NHS Halton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust shared their plans to deliver the Five Year Forward View with the Halton People’s Health Forum.

Halton Lea was selected as one of NHS England’s Healthy New Towns demonstrator sites in March 2016. The ‘healthy new town’ concept aims to shape the health of communities and rethink how health and care services can be delivered within communities.

David Parr, CEO of Halton Borough Council said: “The Healthy New Towns programme, being led by Halton Borough Council, represents the efforts of a wide range of partners across the health and social care, retail and leisure, housing and regeneration sectors.

“This partnership approach is helping to shape a whole system, community based approach to regeneration across the area with improved housing choices, better access to green space and community facilities, novel approaches to social care and health, as well as providing an environment where individuals and families can flourish and thrive. The overall approach has received backing from council leaders, elected members, communities and a range of partners.”

Sitting at the heart of the healthy new town is the Halton Hospital site, comprising the acute hospital which delivers a wide range of planned procedures and the state-of-the-art Cheshire and Merseyside Treatment Centre which is renowned for orthopaedic surgeries. Both hospitals are consistently rated five stars by patients on NHS Choices.

Speaking to members of the public at the Halton People’s Health Forum Professor Simon Constable, Warrington and Halton Hospitals’ Medical Director joined Simon Banks Chief Officer at NHS Halton CCG in setting out how healthcare is likely to be delivered in future through significant collaboration with partners across the ‘Alliance’ – one of three parts of a larger Cheshire and Merseyside footprint. A key part of this is addressing the health and care challenges of the 21st Century which include obesity, dementia and community cohesion alongside traditional healthcare provision.

The vision for the new ‘Halton Health and Wellbeing Campus’ is a natural progression of the successful ‘One Halton’ strategy and Simon Banks described a purpose-built health and wellbeing hub where the health and social care system will be genuinely integrated – meaning services will make sure people get what they need and when they need it from a system that will be more efficient and effective.

 

“Imagine a facility where people can access what they need, where and when they need it,” said Mr Banks. “Here, care resources have been shifted to the community, where we can deliver seamless care enabled by digital solutions and where we can realise much needed financial savings for the pressured NHS by making more efficient use of resources.”

The hospitals’ Chief Executive Mel Pickup, who first mooted the idea of a fully integrated site with partners over five years ago, said: “The Halton Health and Wellbeing Campus will enable the much-needed development of the hospital site and surrounding areas. Our staff are understandably proud of the excellent reputation of both Halton Hospital and the Cheshire and Merseyside Treatment Centre, and it is our pleasure to deliver outstanding care to our patients who continue to award five stars following their visits and procedures.

In addition to providing outstanding hospital care, the campus will enable the integration of mental health, community and primary care services, which are already co-located on the site.

Angela Ryan, Assistant Director for Halton at 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which delivers mental health and community health services from the Brooker Centre on the Halton Hospital site said:

“We are excited to be part of this exciting programme of work which will bring services together in Halton. As a Trust, we fully support the integration of physical and mental health services and we look forward to working with our partners to deliver seamless, joined-up services for people living in Halton as part of the Healthy New Towns programme.”

In setting out the detail of the Healthy New Town concept, Ravi Baghirathan, NHS England said: “This is a programme that will provide new types of digitally-enabled local health services that share physical infrastructure and staff with schools and community groups. It will help build aspiration in the community, give people more opportunities and where education will be a key way of delivering this. The improvements will help increase inward investment into the region, local businesses will benefit and as a result people will be happier.”

While the specifications for the health campus are in their very early stages, the anticipated outcomes are clear: Increased life expectancy and healthy life expectancy, closing the gap between Halton and others and within Halton, reduced early mortality from stroke, cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes, respiratory conditions, improved mental health and improved experiences for people with dementia. A series of engagement and consultation events will be held across the patch in the near future where local communities will be invited to help shape the healthy new town approach across Halton Lea and the wider area.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make the Halton Hospitals site the focal point for the health and wellbeing of current and future communities and – most importantly – keep people independent for as long as possible,” continued Ms Pickup. “We recognise that there is a long way to go but the immediate next step for the Health Campus is to organize a design challenge and involve the people who live and work in Halton and who will use or deliver the services in its creation. We urge everyone to get involved and join us in creating something that we can all be proud of – a rich health and social care legacy for Halton.”

An artist’s concept of the Health and Wellbeing Centre