The NHS Confederation published Health on the High Street in December 2020, setting out a vision for how integrating health and care services into local high street and town centre spaces can broaden their engagement and generate economic, social and health benefits for local communities.
Since the publication of the report, we have seen emerging examples from across the country of highly innovative approaches to moving a variety of health and care services into high street premises; including department stores, empty units, shopping centres, retail outlets, residential areas and other leisure and cultural buildings. The response to these new models has been extremely positive; from citizens, patients, staff, businesses, local authorities and property owners.
One of the most prominent examples of Health on the High Street originated in Dorset in 2021, where NHS Dorset wanted to develop a series of outpatient assessment centres (OACs), located in meaningful and convenient locations and creating a holistic approach to delivering care and reducing the strain on the system. With time short and no suitable assets, discussions started to identify appropriate sites, identifying Beales Department Store in Poole, owned by Legal & General, as the most viable option due to its central location, accessibility, transport links, ability to design facility around patient flow and infection control, and the valuable boost to the economy through increased local footfall.
Since opening OACs in Poole and in Dorchester, over 10,000 patients have been seen for abdominal aortic aneurysm screening, breast screening, dermatology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, and rheumatology appointments. As an example, the orthopaedics specialty has seen a 92% reduction in 78–104-week waiters and both a 31% uplift in activity and 25% increase in appointment utilisation. From an economic perspective, over half of all patients report planning to do something else when attending an appointment, such as shopping or dining in town. This ‘win win’ lies at the heart of future strategic estates and service delivery planning.
The NHS Confederation, Legal & General and Dorset ICS recently joined forces to support systems in England to:
ICS Network Conference 2023
Our annual face-to-face conference for members of the NHS Confederation’s ICS Network.
28 November 2023 GMT
Community Network: October 2023
The meeting of the Community network will take place in person on Thursday 19 October between 9:45-15:30 at 110 Rochester Row, London, SW1P 1JP.
19 October 2023 09:45 - 15:30 GMT
Universalise the best: An antiracist model for building healthy communities
Join the BME Leadership Network for its Black History Month annual lecture in the House of Commons with Professor Kevin Fenton and Stephen Timms MP.
18 October 2023 18:00 - 21:00 GMT