Over the past eight months, contractors have been hard at work transforming the former Contact Warrington building, on Horsemarket Street, into a three-storey ‘one-stop shop’ aimed at helping people to live as happily, healthily and independently as possible.
The Warrington Town Deal-funded initiative will see space in the new Hub shared by teams from the council, Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, with voluntary and charitable sector partners also set to provide services to support Warrington residents and their families.
And with work due for completion next month, final preparations are now being made to ensure those most in need of advice and guidance are able to access help as soon as the doors to the Hub officially open in the New Year.
Steve Bennett, Head of Strategy and Partnerships at Warrington and Halton Hospitals, said: “Creating a facility like the Living Well Hub in the town centre gives us a greater opportunity to reach those who may have healthcare or general wellbeing concerns but don’t know who or where to turn to.
“We want this to be a catalyst to empower people to take control of their health and wellbeing, and we know that they are more likely to be engaged and feel comfortable seeking help and support within an accessible community setting.
“Working collaboratively with our partners, we are now in the process of finalising a wide range of much-needed services for the Hub, which will be tailored to ensure they meet the evolving needs of the borough.”
The ground floor will be a welcoming and open community-led space where Warrington residents can drop in and discuss any issues that may be affecting their health and wellbeing. There will be a café space and seating, flexible meeting/group room, and an infant feeding area. Laptops and tablet computers will also be available to enable people to access digital services at any time during the week, with support if needed.
A range of NHS and non-clinical services will be delivered on the first floor, with several consultation and clinical rooms for use by multiple health and wellbeing service providers, while the second floor is predominantly for staff use.
Open Monday to Friday initially, there will be a particular emphasis on providing women’s health services and services for children, families and older people. Maternity (pre and post-natal), dementia, mental health, weight management, cardiac rehab, and health visitor clinics are among the services already confirmed. Other third party partners, including Macmillan, Warrington Disability Partnership, LiveWire, Home Start, and a number of other voluntary organisations, will also offer a mix of booked appointments and drop-in support throughout the week.
A comprehensive timetable of services will be announced ahead of the official opening date, but sessions include:
- Monday – healthy lifestyle advice and support (including weight management, management of high blood pressure, cancer support) and women’s health
- Tuesday – services for older people (including dementia assessments, bowel and bladder services, podiatry)
- Wednesday – children and family services (including maternity, health visitors and maternal mental health support)
- Thursday – services for older people and services for care leavers
- Friday – children and family services
Cllr Paul Warburton, cabinet member for statutory health and adult social care, said: "It was fantastic to take a look around the new Living Well Hub and to see it taking shape. When the Hub opens in the New Year, it will be a welcoming space for people to drop-in to start a conversation about their health and wellbeing, pick up some information, or get some advice and guidance about the support and services available.
“It will provide the winning model of using people’s existing strengths and identify local networks of support to help people to live well, become healthier, and remain independent for longer.
“We hope that the Hub will also give people a new and different reason to come into the town centre, which in turn will help to support local businesses and a thriving economy.”
Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, said: “I was delighted to see that work on the new Hub is nearing completion, as I know it will be a real asset to Warrington residents and families.
“Being able to provide the most timely and appropriate care, support and access to services in the heart of the town centre, which is convenient for people to access, is vital. It will enable people to take control of their health and wellbeing and more easily access the professionals and services that can best meet their needs.
“Creating this space with a range of health, care and voluntary sector partners under one roof will ensure a holistic approach to care and improve the experience for our residents.”
Plans for the three-storey Hub, which will be fully accessible, were approved in November 2021 as part of the town’s Living Well programme and Warrington’s wider £22million Town Deal.
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.
For more information about the Living Well Hub, visit our Living Well Hub webpage.