Brackley's new community hospital prepares to be a 'key part' in better provision of services

Services moving in to the new Brackley Community Hospital are providing a hub for medical facilities for patients from GP surgeries in the area.

Brackley's newly built medical centre and community hospital
Brackley's newly built medical centre and community hospital

Overcoming delays caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic, the long awaited health and care facility was able to open in the autumn of 2020 with the first rehabilitation patients being admitted in the spring of 2021.

The design of the facility has supported safe working arrangements during this period with room layouts and rooms sizes maintaining social distancing. Core services (GP appointments, Podiatry, Physiotherapy, Children’s Speech & Language Therapy, Community Nursing and 0 – 19 team base) previously provided in the Brackley Health Centre and Washington House Surgery smoothly moved in and are all now operating from the new venue.

Spokesman Giles West said: "In the summer we were able to welcome back partner organisations with MIND able to recommence their weekly group from the wellbeing suite which is situated to the left of the main entrance on the ground floor.

A picture of the interior of Brackley Medical Centre and Community Hospital

"We are now planning for the opening of the café and to increase the range and number of groups being provided to include a Memory Hub (approach currently being successfully tested in Corby) and Strength and Balance classes to help reduce risk of falls, especially for people who have spent significant periods of the past two years shielding."

The health centre initially opened with eight beds in use on the second floor with an increase to ten in the summer and to date almost 60 patients have been supported with their recovery through the new local beds.

The NHS nationally has set out a vision of increasing the range of outpatient and diagnostic/near patient testing, traditionally provided at large acute hospital sites, which should be available in local community hubs. The new facility at Brackley is highlighted as the type of integrated health and care venue which will support this, building on initial x-ray capacity, and it expects an ongoing increase in the range of services provided locally for all ages.

Fundraising in support of the new facility continues to benefit local people with additional equipment to support work of physiotherapists, assisting inpatients with their recovery and ongoing care and, when the x-ray facility is fully functioning, increasing the type and number of tests which can be undertaken at Brackley.

"We will be forever grateful for all of the support of the people of Brackley and surrounding villages. To create the new facility has been a collective team effort over many years," said Mr West, who is the Community Resilience Transformation Lead for Integrated Care Across Northamptonshire.

"We know that the next few months will be very testing for health and social care with the combination of ongoing pandemic, greater risk from flu and the backlog for elective care but are confident that the wonderful new facility in Brackley will play a key part in helping to successfully navigate the immediate future and enable us to continue to create enhanced service provision locally for many years to come."