Transforming a vacant health centre floor into support centre for The Listening Place

Hunter Street Health Centre, London

Challenge

Delivering on the NHS’ social prescribing goal is more important than ever as England faces unprecedented cases of mental illness, loneliness and chronic disease. Patient research conducted by YouGov on behalf of NHSPS  shows nearly 1/2 patients want access to mental health services through GP practices and nearly one fifth requested additional community  services  such  as  support  groups,  exercise  classes  or  nutrition programmes.

Since opening 4.5 years ago, The Listening Place has had over 8300 referrals, with 67% of them coming from the NHS. This year has been challenging for everyone and we know many people will be struggling with their mental health so this number is undoubtedly going to increase.

Solution

Our Asset Management and Construction teams worked very closely with The Listening Place, a London based charity that supports those who feel like life is no longer worth living, North Central London CCG and London Borough of Camden to identify and refurbish vacant space that really supports the needs of those in the community.

Between November and mid-December 2020, we refurbished the tired interior of the third floor of Hunter Street Health Centre, a Victorian building in London, into a refreshing, homely and welcoming space for visitors to The Listening Place. The space includes a range of meeting rooms, counselling rooms, and waiting areas.

Impact

The space at Hunter Street will allow The Listening Place to double their capacity for face-to-face appointments and support a further 1200 people each year at such a dark time for them and importantly, allows them to still socially distance while being able to speak with people during the pandemic.

Creating spaces in NHS buildings for services like The Listening Place will help to improve community health and wellbeing, improve confidence and reduce isolation, simultaneously reducing demand on primary care.

Hear from The Listening Place

We spoke to Laura Face, New Site Project Manager for The Listening Place to find out how the new site at Hunter Street Health Centre will impact their services.

Customer feedback

NHS Property Services has been such a positive partner, we are now open seven days a week in Hunter Street and our visitors and volunteers have told us what a calm and welcoming place our third floor is for them. With this new location at Hunter Street, NHSPS allowed us to almost double our capacity for face to face appointments. We are very grateful to everyone at NHSPS who has helped make this happen.

Laura Fach, New Site PM, The Listening Place

What our people said

Leo Grunhut, Senior Property Manager, NHS Property Services who has been leading on the project, said “We've been working very closely with the charity on this for several months and to have seen the centre ready for opening was great. The centre really meets the customer’s requirements and it’s a great feeling to have been involved from inception to delivery on a project that will have such an impact on so many people’s lives.”

Martin Meltzer, Senior Construction Manager, NHS Property Services, said “It has been a pleasure to be involved in this project, refurbishing the tired interior of our Victorian building’s 3rd floor in Hunter Street into a refreshing, homely and welcoming space for visitors to The Listening Place. Our London construction team fast-tracked the works to get the facility up and running for the charity in quite difficult times for use by vulnerable individuals being supported. The project received great support from the Site Manager Connor Marshall from PrinceBuild Contractors, Interact Telephony, Premier Choice Internet Support, Walters Furniture Suppliers and CollectEco who donated over £3,000 worth of office equipment too. Thank you to all!”