Picton Neighbourhood Health and Children's Centre, Liverpool
Picton Neighbourhood Health & Children’s Centre, a primary care and children’s centre located in the Picton area of Liverpool, opened its doors to patients and children in early March 2007.
The centre is the first under the Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) initiative in Liverpool to combine a health centre with a local authority children’s centre. Located in a housing market renewal area, the centre has the potential to become a community hub. Its location on a corner plot, adjacent to both a regeneration area and the local retail facilities, makes it readily accessible for local people.
The health facility provides 2700m2 of accommodation, designed to meet the needs of the local population and designed with flexibility in mind to cater for future changes in healthcare service delivery. The Sure Start centre is located in a separate wing of the building and has a floor area of 520m2. There is also a non-dispensing Pharmacy connected to the building, providing a service to the local community as well as the Health Centre.
Transforming Community Services
Picton is a diverse and deprived community close to the city centre of Liverpool. It is home to one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the city and suffers from the same problems of poor health and low educational achievement as many other similar inner city areas. Picton Neighbourhood Health and Children’s Centre (PNH&CC) is a Primary Care and Children’s Centre and was developed in response to these problems and as part of an overall strategy for Liverpool to transform the way in which primary care services are delivered and to bring together other complementary activities. The new development responds to these challenges and is now embedded into the community infrastructure as a change agent for the regeneration of the area acting as a catalyst for other regeneration activity particularly new housing.
The success of the Centre was formally recognised in February 2009 when it was highly commended in the RICS Awards for Community Benefit. The building has allowed the PCT to create an integrated Children’s Team which is a combination of Health Visitors and Children’s Nurses offering a one stop shop to ensure the health and wellbeing of all children within the area.
A Centre for the Whole Community
The Centre has been a major success measured by how the local people have welcomed the services that it offers. The Sure Start nursery is over subscribed and the community dentist recruited over 7000 patients within the first twelve months from the commencement of the service. The GPs have reported increased list sizes since opening, indicating that people are attracted to the new facility.
Picton NH&CC contributes in four inter-related sectors, health, early development and child care, community development and economic regeneration and sustainability. Our aim is to develop responsibility and not dependency by:
- Local employment. A large proportion of the contracted workforce within the building is recruited locally
- Training and opportunities. Family learning accredited courses. NVQ 2 and 3 in early years and child development. Pre-access courses and vocational development opportunities.
- Training partners are brought in to provide ESOL classes, numeracy, computer literacy sessions and support for victims of domestic violence
- The Centre plays an important role in helping to find jobs, training and educational opportunities combined with excellent childcare
- Support is provided for families with special educational needs and disabilities
- A progression route for training into the health sector
- Targeted services for family mentoring
One of the main reasons why Picton can be considered truly transformational is that it brings together in a single building a number of partners and community services who previously did not provide support in the area in a joined up way. This was only made possible through the use of LIFT as a facilitator to partnership working. The involvement of Liverpool and Sefton Health Partnership (LSHP) did not stop at the handover of the building but importantly it provides a centre manager service whose role it is to promote the centre to wider community groups to ensure that the centre continues to offer a wide range of services.
The partners include:
- Liverpool and Sefton Health Partnership
- Liverpool Primary Care Trust
- Liverpool City Council
- General Practitioners
- Atlantic Dental Practice
- Jones Pharmacy
- Merseyside Police
- Alder Hey Children’s Hospital