Our first Integrated Health and Care Hub

I recently passed by the site of the new Integrated Health and Care Hub that is being built right in the heart of Dunstable, there’s not much to see there at the moment – just some hoarding and the sound of building work. The pictures show what it looks like now and what it will look like when it’s complete – quite a transformation.

I was minded, to think about all the unseen hard work that goes into a project like this before a spade even touches the ground.

It is often the case that we know something is not working but finding the solution as to how to fix it can be exceptionally daunting in scale. Ten years ago, with an ageing and, growing population we could see the challenges facing the health and care systems were unprecedented with local hospitals under significant strain, especially during the winter months when hospitals can be overwhelmed. So, along with our NHS partners we started on a journey to find ways to do things differently so we could provide an alternative to hospital attendance and admissions and to join up our community and health care services so that people could access a range of services under one roof and closer to where people live.

Together we created a transformational vision to change the way our residents receive health and care services with an ambition to eventually build five hubs across Central Bedfordshire. Dunstable is the first, but we hope to build similar in Biggleswade, Leighton Buzzard, Houghton Regis and somewhere in west Mid Beds too.

The challenge seemed enormous at the time, projects of this scale are immense but through hard work, coordination and collaboration by the many partners involved this vision is starting to come to life. I feel an enormous sense of pride that we are at the start of something truly ground-breaking.  

I am really excited by the prospect of how the first hub will not only improve the patient experience but also has the potential to become the centre of a new community located at the heart of Dunstable. The Dunstable hub also includes 94 new apartments, for the over 55s which will offer a place for people to meet up for a coffee alongside accessing health care services.

I will be popping by on a regular basis to see how the site is progressing.

Thanks

Richard

4 thoughts on “Our first Integrated Health and Care Hub

  1. I am going to reserve judgement. Personally concreting one of Dunstables’ few remaining green spaces and removing an astra turf play area which was valued by the local residents does not seem like such a great development. Especially when you consider that this is not a “Health Hub”, but 3 blocks of flats with an attached health center. In a town which specifically built a health center in my memory. So now we will have 2? Suffice to say, everyone I have spoken to thinks this is a diabolical development, but they (the locals) also feel that they cannot influence CBC and that CBC will do what it wants despite local opinion. Even bigger developments (described as “sacrilege” to me) have taken place in Houghton Regis, which does not yet have such a health center. Logically HR would have been the recipient. Although this will help keep the road from HR to Dunstable fully loaded :-).
    I will wait and see. It could be good and of so I will say so.

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  2. Horrified to think that Dunstable will have two health hubs when Central Beds largest town, Leighton Buzzard, has none. L B residents have been crying out for one for over a decade whilst Central Beds and local health authorities have been dithering. There is an excellent site in the centre of town at the old Post Office sorting office. Sieze the moment and get on with it.
    Leighton residents are fed up with having to travel to Dunstable for everything e.g. Covid walk ins. I suppose the same will apply when it comes to Covid boosters too. Come on Central Beds give us some service, we are your biggest source of residential rates income.

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    • Hi Richard, thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. I do understand the frustrations residents face when having to travel to access important services.

      The Council has a long-standing ambition to bring care closer to where people live and in conjunction with our health partners and local NHS colleagues have established a joint aspiration for five Integrated Health & Care Hubs across Central Bedfordshire – Leighton Buzzard is one of these locations. Investment of this scale does require a planned and phased approach and we are continuing the work to develop the business case for Leighton Buzzard. I will continue to provide updates on the progress of our Integrated Health and Care Hubs in my future blogs.

      Thanks
      Richard

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