Health centre in York set to provide up to 30 new treatment rooms
Health services at Askham Bar are set to grow after city planners recommended approval.
York-based NHS provider Nimbuscare has applied to City of York Council asking for permission to keep their site at Askham Bar running for another 18 months.
The former park and ride site between the Tesco Superstore and Moor Lane was turned into a Covid vaccination centre in 2020.
But the emergency permitted development rights which allowed this to happen expired in December.
With demand for vaccinations now at a much lower level, Nimbuscare also wants to add two new temporary buildings to what they call the Askham Bar Community Care Centre.
The organisation, which operates 11 GP surgeries across York, described it as “an exciting new model of holistic community-based care”.
It is not a GP surgery or a community hospital, but will help to reduce pressure on other NHS services.
If approved, the centre would provide 20 to 30 treatment rooms, plus space for office and admin staff.
The health centre would open from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Saturday, and from 8am to 2pm on Sundays. Some 50-70 clinical staff plus 10 admin staff would be employed.
The centre would focus on providing a range of services that residents would previously have had to travel for, including blood-taking, ultrasound, retinal screening and respiratory treatments.
The Department of Work and Pensions and Citizens Advice would also have staff on hand for advice and support.
Nimbuscare said in its application: “It is a place where several health, care and voluntary providers can work together to connect people and treat more than just ill health.
“Community Care Centres host community volunteers, social workers, council services and carers who will also offer that care and support.
“It has been specially designed so not all rooms or spaces feel clinical. The aim is to develop an experience where people are given more holistic care, where the whole person or family is treated, and they are not just a number on a clinic list.”
The council’s draft Local Plan envisages the site will eventually be used for 60 homes, but as the Nimbuscare application is for temporary use it is “not considered to prejudice the bringing forward of the site for housing development in due course”, council planners said in their report.
Their report added: “The continued temporary use of the site for health care purposes, retaining and expanding the existing modular buildings is considered acceptable in principle. The site is in a sustainable location and there would be no harm to visual or neighbour amenity.”
A council planning committee will vote on the proposal on Wednesday, February 8.