Published date: 23 September 2021

Behind the scenes with NHS Open Space: Orpington Health and Wellbeing Centre

This month the NHS Open Space team went behind the scenes at Orpington Health and Wellbeing Centre to interview on-site staff and users of the space, to get an insider’s view on what the space is used for and how NHS Open Space has helped customers.

About Orpington Health & Wellbeing Centre

Orpington Health and Wellbeing Centre opened in September 2019 and NHS Open Space has been part of the site from the very beginning, providing a wide range of services to the community due to the site’s flexibility.

NHS Open Space played a key role last year by repurposing two of our rooms on a longer-term basis to accommodate new Covid-19 services, supporting the vaccination programme for the area – building great relationships with NHS Open Space users, and working with local communities and businesses wanting to use the space.

• We currently have 10 rooms on site, ranging from examination and treatment rooms, a large group room and interview space for activities, meetings and work.

• Rooms can be booked on an hourly basis from 08:00 – 20:00, Monday to Saturday.

20+ services currently use the spaces including Wren Healthcare and JA Medical.

Explore and book spaces with NHS Open Space

More information on the Orpington site itself can be found here, and services interested in booking other spaces can visit the booking platform via the NHS Open Space website. 

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Meet David Lipscombe, Facilities Coordinator

We have a brilliant team behind NHS Open Space, each bringing a unique set of skills to the programme to improve your experience.

We caught up with David, the Facilities Coordinator for Orpington Health and Wellbeing Centre and asked him some questions about his role at NHS Open Space and the programme itself.

What is your role in the NHS Open Space team?

“I started here in August 2019, just before the building opened, and before that I worked across NHSPS buildings across North London, and before NHSPS I worked with University College Hospital in Facilities Management.”

What services are used at Orpington Health and Wellbeing Centre?

We have a wide range of services using our NHS Open Space rooms, at varying capacity, but some examples are JA Medical who are a private medical company currently running vaccination services, Hidden Hearing, and Integrated Occupational Medicine which is a service that provides diving and offshore medicals.”

Have you found that NHS Open Space helps customers using the space?

“Yes definitely, it offers them a more flexible way to use the building if they don’t want a full lease. As the site is still relatively new, not everyone in the area knew it was here at first, so opening the space to services beyond the usual local GP has grown this awareness and usage.  We’ve also seen existing services using the rooms in new ways, such as staff from Knoll Medical using one of our group rooms for Pilates sessions, and Bromley Wellbeing using interview rooms for counselling sessions.  

As we see Covid-19 restrictions lifting and associated services needing less space, I hope to see more community support services coming into the building, whether that’s counselling services, charities, or local businesses.”

Let’s hear from our NHS Open Space users

“I’m a nurse with JA Medical, which is a private health clinic that offers almost all the usual GP services but is mostly nurse-led. Using NHS Open Space has been really straightforward, and the booking system has always been really easy to use. Once on site, the rooms have always been clean and ready to go, and the on-site staff have always been really helpful and professional.

The flexibility offered through NHS Open Space has really helped us throughout the pandemic. We have been completely affected by Covid-19, and Open Space means I can just pay for the time and space I need – when my patients are ready – instead of paying for longer-term rented space that I’m not really using. I would absolutely recommend NHS Open Space, and this Orpington site, to other health and wellbeing services.”

Jo, JA Medical Team

“I’m a clinic administrator at Wren Healthcare, which offers a range of health services. Here at Orpington, we run ‘fit to fly’ Covid-19 travel tests – PCRs, lateral flows, day two tests and more. We have been using NHS Open Space since October 2020 as it offered a range of flexible NHS spaces to run our clinics in.

We’ve had absolutely no problems using the service, the space has been great, and rooms are always ready to go for our bookings. I don’t make the bookings personally, but I know we’ve been able to expand and contract our bookings as we’ve gotten more and less busy in the past year.”

Skye Riordan, Wren Healthcare

"I’ve been using NHS Open Space since summer 2020 and have used several rooms across the Orpington Health and Wellbeing Centre. I hadn’t realised NHS Open Space existed, so when I discovered the service, it was a perfect solution for my service. I wanted somewhere that was going to be clean and safe and accessible but didn’t think an NHS space would be available to me as a private practitioner, so was delighted to hear about Open Space through the GP on site.

It’s clean to NHS standards, so me and my patients can be assured of a higher standard of hygiene and infection control, and I’ve found my patients are more comfortable coming to an NHS site – particularly during the pandemic. I would definitely recommend it to other healthcare services, and have actually already mentioned it to a few friends and colleagues!"

Private Osteopath

Learn more about NHS Open Space

Through the flexible booking of NHS Open Space, we are offering customers more choice and flexibility, communities a wider range of services, and making more efficient use of the NHS estate.

Learn more about NHS Open Space