Offers 16 clinical rooms and 9 treatment rooms
Allows integration of health & social care
Allows for use by other clinicians and network partners
Improved build environment for patients and staff
Accessible by several modes of transport
The new Leominster Hub will comprise a two storey building that provides consultation rooms, training rooms and an on-site pharmacy.
The existing GP practices currently at Westfield Walk will be relocated to the new health hub building situated at land at Marsh Court. This follows extensive scenario testing and a site searching exercise undertaken by NHS England as part of their Primary Care Strategy for Leominster.
To accommodate the GP Health Hub along with appropriate car parking, a site of circa 0.5 hectare is required. This was taken into account in selecting the preferred site for the new development. The design for the new hub is for a two-storey building of 1,560 m2 (including a 125m2 pharmacy and a 242m2 expansion space) with 72 car parking spaces (with a further 6 spaces to account for the potential future expansion space).
The expansion space is designed to accommodate another health care service into the health hub to provide integrated health care services in one location.
Leominster needs to expand its healthcare provision as existing space is limited, and the ageing population is putting more demands on services. Westfield & The Marches practices have a requirement to relocate and expand to meet the current standards and future proof the expected growth. Under the already agreed housing growth projections, the population in Leominster and the surrounding rural hinterlands is due to increase by over 5,000 over the next 10 years. The changes announced provide a brand new healthcare hub and a model of healthcare provision that will be sufficient for 20 or 30 years. The new surgery will be designed to accommodate 19,500 patients with the ability to expand provision to account for population growth. The building will also have WC/ Changing facilities with hoist and adult shower/ changing bed for people with profound disabilities.
It is essential to be able to keep any patients with suspected or possible Covid-19 separated from those who are Covid free and probably non-Covid.
The new building is designed to incorporate the ability for it to be divided cleanly into sections to enable groups of patients, as well as the staff groups looking after them, to be kept apart. The different sections would have separate entrances and exits and of course appropriate clinical as well as non-clinical facilities.
The scheme accommodates the longer-term impact of the Coronavirus lock-down on primary care in terms of re-evaluating how patient contact is managed and the increased use of e-consulting rooms, patient segregation and hot-and-cold assessments.
A GP same-day care suite is also included in the building specification. This GP same-day care suite of rooms will lend itself to being able to isolate patients in any future pandemic event. This will help provide future-proofing and resilience for the practices and any other providers who choose to rent the space.
While the current pandemic will pass, we are going to have to learn to live with the threat of Covid-19 and similar viruses. The practices are excited to be able to take this opportunity to ensure primary care in Leominster is as well prepared as possible for whatever the future holds and to provide the best facilities for their patients.
Transportation and Accessibility to the Centre – Travel Plan
Prior to the public opening the development team has made a commitment to form a Travel Plan.
The aim of a Travel Plan is to reduce the impact of travel on the environment by reducing the amount of single-occupancy car journeys that are made. Travel Plans can also help to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, improve local air quality, minimise health risks and reduce congestion.
It is important to highlight that Travel Plans are about encouraging people to use a mix of different modes of transport to undertake their everyday journeys.
Patients are encouraged to visit their GPs even when not ill to discuss health and wellbeing issues. There is good evidence that exercise is beneficial for many conditions and actively improves mental health. It is pertinent to recognise, and plan for, the potential alternative modes of transport available to patients of this facility from an early stage. In this context, it is recognised that the Leominster Neighbourhood Plan actively promotes better quality provision of walking and cycling opportunities in the town as a means of improving health and wellbeing.
The entrance to the Marsh Lane site, which is accessed via Porters Mill Close, has good levels of facilities for pedestrians and cyclists. There is an off road pedestrian route which connects the site to the town centre via a bridge of the Kenwater precinct. Future development will continue these good conditions throughout the site and specifically to the Health Care Hub.
Surrounding the site there are good levels of facilities for pedestrians, as the site is located to the north east of Leominster town centre. The surrounding footways along roads such as the A44 Mill Street are of good condition for pedestrians and are well-lit with street lighting.
There is reasonable provision for cyclists in the vicinity of the Health Hub and throughout Leominster. Leominster is relatively compact and flat making it easy to travel around by bicycle.
In line with neighbourhood planning policies, the Health Hub – a new community use – may provide the catalyst for further investment in to Leominster, in particular the immediate surrounds, which could assist with providing more comprehensive cycling provision within the town more generally.
The new development will have ample and well monitored cycle parking provision.
The nearest bus stops to the site are presently located at Brook Hall on A44 Broad Street which is close to the town centre. The services that are available from these stops are the following: 402, 489, 490 and 494.
The project consultant team are presently in discussions with the Herefordshire Council and the local bus providers, Yeomans, about the potential to deliver a bus route into the Marsh Lane site to serve the Health Hub.
While we encourage the use of alternatives as sustainable modes of transport, it is important to note that there will be 72 patient car parking spaces at the new development. There will be the potential to include dedicated spaces for electric or plug in hybrid vehicles.
If you’d like to share your thoughts, please get in touch using the contact form.
If you’d like to write to us please use this postal address: Mr Jeremy Turner, Savills (UK) Ltd, Embassy House, Queens Avenue, Bristol, BS8 1SB.