Innovative health hub opens in NHS Property Services building

Project partners and service users gather to cut the ribbon to officially open the facility

by Alex Cameron

An innovative community-led health project was launched in an NHS Property Services building in Devon this month.

More than 400 visitors attended the opening celebration of Budleigh Hub, in Budleigh Salterton, to take a tour around the facility, participate in one of the many activities on offer, speak to representatives of the services provided there, and sample tasty treats at cooking demonstrations.

This partnership project has been developed between Westbank Community Health and Care based in Exminster, the League of Friends of Budleigh Salterton Hospital, NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG), Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (RD&E) and NHS Property Services.

After four years of development and a £500,000 refurbishment funded by League of Friends, the former community hospital has become a health and wellbeing hub serving the communities of Woodbury, Exmouth and Budleigh.

Mary Nisbett, Westbank Chief Executive said: “The Hub showcases the successful integration of services by health and social care agencies, community care services and commercial activities.  The variety of services provided at the Hub is result of the partners shared commitment to the project, vision and passion.”

At the opening celebration on 4 May, Dr David Evans, chairman of Budleigh Salterton Hospital League of Friends, thanked all those who worked towards the shared goal of seeing the Hub become a resource for the whole community. He went on to thank sponsors for their generosity which ensured the clinical and community rooms were all refurbished to the highest standard.

James Wakeham, Principal Construction Manager for NHS Property Services, which owns the building, said: “We wish Westbank every success and we were pleased to support this innovative project by investing £123,000 in external building works and agreeing a lease.”

Simon Tapley, Interim Chief Officer of NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The CCG has been a key partner and supporter of the Hub initiative and I am pleased that this project has become a reality.

“The hub is a great asset for the local community. It combines health and wellbeing, social care and voluntary sector services in one place, showing exactly what can be achieved when different organisations work together. This form of collaboration and integration between partners is a model we support right across Devon.”

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for adult social care and health services said: “Statutory health and social care services are working ever more closely together and in partnership with voluntary and private sector care organisations in order to support people to be as independent as possible. Budleigh’s Hub is an excellent example of agencies coming together with that one shared goal, and already, since first opening its doors last September, its popularity demonstrates how valued it is by local residents.”

The NHS, Devon Partnership Trust, Chime Audiology and Budleigh Salterton Medical Practice have a strong presence in the Hub delivering a clinical mix of services including Cardiac Support, Retinal Screening, Heart Failure Nurse, Podiatry, Physio MSK, Depression & Anxiety Service, Audiology Services, Medical Practice Clinics and Memory Cafes.


Rob Beach, Launchpad Chef, during a cooking demonstration.

Local organisations have also taken up space in the Hub, with Age Concern Budleigh offering a day care services for older people; Launchpad, providing work experience for people with learning disabilities in their Café at the Hub; Carousel Nursery providing childcare for 0–3-year- olds; and Ocean Physio.

Westbank Neighbourhood Friends support people in their own homes with practical help including collecting essential items and providing social opportunities.  They also offer home from hospital including wellbeing checks with the help of a team of volunteers.  The Healthy Neighbourhoods team set up activities in response to the needs of the community – which includes seated yoga, craft sessions, health walks and a film club.

Westbank recently launched the enhanced Devon Carers service; adult and young carers will be able access a range of carers’ services at the Hub.

Magic Carpet has been commissioned by Westbank to deliver a series of arts projects to create original pieces of art to be installed at the Hub.