A NEW health hub in Hyde has been hailed as a ‘step forward’ in a bid to tackle health ‘challenges.’
The Healthy Hyde Body and Mind Centre has been set up in what was B&M Bargains in the Clarendon Square shopping centre.
Run by the town’s Primary Care Network, comprising of eight GP practices and representing some 72,000 patients in the area, it boasts 11 clinical rooms, meaning it can offer extended access weekend and evening appointments, an ambulatory care service staffed by eight paramedics, mental health practitioner appointments and musculoskeletal practitioners’ appointments.
As well as the physical health issues, it also provides an array of less clinical services, such as well-being practitioners who work closely with food banks and assist patients with social issues.
There is a large community kitchen for groups and cooking lessons and a spacious cafe area for members of the public to relax and drop in to access any support whether it be mental health, social or health related.
It is also supporting the refugee and asylum seeker population by providing English lessons and helping them develop a good understanding of how to access health services and when.
Having previously operate out of Hattersley Hub, its new town centre location has been hailed by Hyde’s MP Jonathan Reynolds, who played a role in the move.
He told The Correspondent: “This is a tremendous step forward for public health and healthcare in Hyde.
“The best way to describe a primary care network is it sits between your GP and the hospital and there’s a range of services on offer is much closer to the community.
“A lot of public health activity, like vaccines and work around liver heath is going to be led from this place.
“They were based at Hattersley Hub but wanted to be a bit closer to the community, really right in the heart of the town centre.
“On the same day I met them a year ago, I also met with the owners of Clarendon Square and heard about their plans and what they wanted to do.
“I was basically able to broker a conversation between the two organisations and a year later, the result is this tremendous health and community space.
“You won’t quite believe it’s the same premises. It’s going to be a major heath facility but also a major community facility.
“It could help ease pressure on services, it gives that further capacity which is required and we know there are public health challenges in Tameside, particularly heart disease and liver disease.
“And to get people interested in living healthier lifestyles, you’ve got to entice them in. This is the kind of environment that feels like it could do that.”
Now it is up and running, the extra space of the unit, which has been given rent-free by the Martin Property Group, which owns Clarendon Square, is being hugely welcomed.
A spokesman for Hyde Primary Care Network said: “We have always struggled to find space to accommodate our services, as you know GP practices are often completely full with little room to provide extra services.
“Our team of paramedics has been working out of just one clinical room for the past year on a strict rota to ensure efficiency.
“Earlier this year, we had a chat with Jonathan Reynolds about our options estates-wise. NHS England had no funding, so we took action ourselves.
“Hyde Primary Care Network decided to invest in renovating this facility to improve and provide more access to health for our patients.
“To accommodate the growing demand for our services, we invested heavily in renovating the unit, transforming it into a state-of-the-art facility.
“This new base will not only enhance our ability to provide quality care but also contribute to the revitalization of Hyde town centre.”