In January 2009, The Halewood Centre opened its doors - a groundbreaking public services building which has transformed the facilities on offer to residents in Halewood, Knowsley.
It brings together a range of Council, NHS Knowsley and partner services under one roof.
The £8m centre - built on a brownfield site previously known as Raven Court - is the result of a public private partnership between Knowsley Council, NHS Knowsley, developers Renova and the Halton & St Helens, Knowsley and Warrington LIFT Team. Managed by a joint project team, the 18 month build has resulted in a unique centre at the heart of the community.
But there is more to The Halewood Centre than just bricks and mortar. This development has been made possible due to a long standing formal agreement between Knowsley Council and NHS Knowsley, (Section 75 of the National Health Service Act 2006) to pool budgets and share resources. The Halewood Centre is the embodiment of this integrated approach. For example, if a resident visited their GP suffering from stress due to debt problems, the GP would then refer them on to the One Stop Shop, where their benefit entitlement could be checked and further advice and guidance would be offered by Halewood Credit Union and Knowsley Citizens Advice Bureau.
Residents can access a wide range of services at The Halewood Centre comprising:
Three GP surgeries
Council One Stop Shop
NHS treatment rooms capable of hosting a variety of services including: sexual health, phlebotomy, speech and language therapy and weight management
Integrated Council Payment & Post Office counters
Knowsley Housing Trust
Halewood Credit Union
Halewood Town Council
Knowsley Citizens Advice Bureau
Community meeting rooms
Business start-up offices
Knowsley Works Plus
The new facilities are also enabling Knowsley to encourage even more partners to use the site on an ad hoc basis. The new One Stop Shop has space available for other surgeries, including the Police, Department for Works and Pensions and local MP's.
Already the centre is receiving national interest from across the public sector and we are regularly sharing our experience and success with other agencies.
Sheena Ramsey, Chief Executive, Knowsley Council said: 'Knowsley Council's and NHS Knowsley share a vision of 'Improving People's Lives' and The Halewood Centre sums up perfectly how we are delivering this vision. "We have listened to the needs of residents and developed a centre perfectly aligned to our Sustainable Communities Strategy.'
Rosemary Hawley , Chair of NHS Knowsley said:"I'm sure the people of Halewood will be as proud of this new centre as we are. With such a comprehensive range of health and community services, the benefits and convenience this centre will bring local people are immeasurable. This is a landmark in the development of Halewood. This Centre will provide local people with access to essential services in the heart of their community, meaning that people will have the best health treatment and community facilities on their doorstep. It has been the hard work and commitment of all partners involved which has brought the innovative vision of the Halewood Centre into reality."
Richard Ashcroft, Chief Executive, Renova Developments Ltd, said: 'Renova Developments has worked with Knowsley Council and NHS Knowsley now on a number of projects focussed on regeneration and community improvement. Our experience has shown us that Knowsley is a local authority that is passionate about improving the lives of the people in its borough and has a superb understanding of integrated service provision and gaining benefits through working with its partners.'