Pioneering hub to keep Efford and Laira folk healthier

A pioneering health and wellbeing hub could be on the cards for people living in Efford and Laira.

People may be able to access a wider range of health and wellbeing advice and support in one place under exciting new plans being unveiled for Douglass House this week.

Pathfields Practice is teaming up with the Council, healthcare commissioners and other service providers to look at creating a hub – a type of one-stop shop – to give people the information and power to stay healthy, manage their conditions and choose their treatments.

The hub could house a doctors’ surgery, an on-site pharmacy, spaces for advice and information, clinics for health workers, social care professionals and clinicians who can advise people on how to manage conditions such asthma and diabetes without needing to see a doctor.

It could be somewhere people can attend classes to tackle ongoing problems such as weight management, smoking, stress or other mental health issues or dementia support. As well as treatment rooms, the centre could also have a small operating theatre for minor surgery and a centralised reception area signposting patients.

Dr Gary Lenden said: “This is really exciting stuff and could change how we look after people and how we help people to look after themselves. We are tearing up the traditional GP model and asking what do people need and how can we make it easier for people to be healthy and well in their own homes. We have an idea of what we want, but want to hear what people think and what they would like to see.”

Behind this pilot project is the city’s public health campaign ‘Thrive Plymouth’ which targets the four lifestyle choices that result in four main diseases that result in 54 per cent of deaths in Plymouth.

Councillor Lynda Bowyer, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care said: “As a city, we are turning our focus on preventing illnesses and supporting people to make changes to their lifestyles so that they are healthier such as stopping smoking and exercising more.
“There are no quick wins, but by placing more health care in the community where it is needed and supporting GPs in the neighbourhoods, we could help people where they live, reducing pressure on other parts of the health system, particularly hospitals.”

As part of this project Pathfields Practice’s existing surgeries at Laira and Efford would move to the single site at Douglass House in Douglass Road.

Pathfields has around 18,000 people registered. Over the next few weeks people are being asked what they think would improve the current practice as well as their thoughts on the proposal for Douglass House.

Residents in and around Efford and Laira are also being asked for their views at a series of events that will be taking place at Efford Youth Centre and Torridge Way.

The aim is to submit a planning application this summer. As part of this planning process, people will also be able to comment on any proposals.