Wolverhampton City Council is set to enter formal negotiations with Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) as it develops plans for a health, social care and community service hub.

The council has been in discussion with Wolverhampton CCG over the proposals for the last 6 months, developing a vision for the centre in Warstones.

Members of the council's Cabinet recently received the results of a joint 3 month consultation into the vision for the Warstones Community Service Hub and have subsequently given the go ahead for formal negotiations to begin.

Officers from both organisations will now work closely together to draw up formal proposals which will be presented to councillors in the spring.

The plans would see the former Warstones Resource Centre building converted into a community service hub offering a wide range of health, social care and community services.

It would include a CCG commissioned service designed to help people remain independent for longer which would include more than 20 intermediate care beds providing medical treatment and nursing care.

Services which bridge the gap between hospital and home, such as physiotherapy, speech therapy and falls prevention, would also be on offer. These are designed to help people who have been in hospital recover their independence before returning home - and also prevent people whose health has deteriorated from needing to go into hospital in the first place.

Warstones Community Service Hub would also be the new base for Warstones Library, host a wide range of drop in activities and potentially be home to a number of third sector organisations such as Age UK, Dementia Pathfinders and the Over 50s forum.

The joint consultation, which ended last month, found broad support for the vision, with residents keen for the building to remain open for use by the local community and with an increase in the range of activities and facilities available in the local area.

There was support for the inclusion of a cafeteria for service users and members of the community, while people also welcomed the idea of more joined up working between health and social care providers.

The joint consultation also raised some concerns about parking facilities and public transport as well as the potential size of the new library. All these issues will be considered in detail as the programme progresses.

Warstones Community Service Hub is one of 3 such community service hubs proposed across the city and Councillor Elias Mattu, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Leisure and Communities, said: "This is a golden opportunity to bring together health, social care and community services and create an excellent facility for the whole community.

"By bringing these vital services together under one roof, we hope to protect them in the face of unprecedented Government funding cuts - and also make it easier for people to access a wide range of help and support from the same location.

"I'd like to thank everyone who took part in the recent consultation process which was very constructive and showed broad support for the council's vision for the hub, as well as highlighting some areas which we need to look at closely as we move forward."

Dr Helen Hibbs, Chief Officer of Wolverhampton CCG, added: "We are committed to working in partnership with Wolverhampton City Council for the benefit of the people of Wolverhampton.

"Patient care is paramount. We aim to reduce hospital admissions, where this is appropriate, by providing other ways to support people. In doing so, we can improve our patients' quality of life by giving them the confidence to manage in their own homes."

  • released: Monday 3 February, 2014