Launch set for groundbreaking hub designed to improve the health of local community

Posted: 29/02/24

Logo for The Space

A groundbreaking wellbeing support hub designed to improve the health of the local community will open in Newcastle next month.

The Space, which is based at Cruddas Park Surgery in Newcastle, is the first of its kind to have professionals from multiple services all working under one roof.

The Space has been collaboratively designed, produced and named by agencies and service users within Newcastle and is a partnership between mental health care, primary care, statutory agencies and voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations.

Partners include; Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW), West End Family Health Primary Care Network, Every turn, Changing Lives, Re-co-co, Newcastle University, Newcastle Council, VITA talking therapies and James’ Place Newcastle.

Its aim is to improve quality of life and access to services for the local population.

Residents in the West End of Newcastle who are registered with West Road, Cruddas Park and Holmside GP practices (part of the West End Family Health group) will be able to access help in an easier and more timely way.

Those coming into the hub will have improved access and quicker support from a range of professionals without the need for lengthy waiting lists.

The Space will open on Friday 8 March as a pilot, trialling multi-agency working within a community setting. The Space will initially be open from 9am-11.30am every Friday. It is hoped these hours will be extended after the pilot.

Professionals working from the site will include NHS Talking Therapies, mental health community treatment teams, drug and alcohol services, Newcastle local authority, and Individual Placement Support (which helps people experiencing mental health and addiction issues gain employment).

Rebecca Tait, Associate Director at CNTW, said: “We are so excited for the launch of The Space which aims to improve the lives and wellbeing of our local community.

“By offering advice and support as soon as it’s needed, the people of Newcastle’s West End will be able to access holistic care from a central place on their doorstep.

“We are so proud to have played a part in setting up this innovative new way of working, which looks to break down barriers between services. This is a pioneering project which we hope will build a sense of togetherness in the community and encourage independence for people accessing services.

“The Space will be a safe and caring environment committed to promoting wellbeing and increasing people’s contact with the right people who can support them.”

James Duncan, Chief Executive at CNTW, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that The Space is opening and that it represents such a great collaboration across a wide range of partners looking to improve mental health and wellbeing in the West End of Newcastle.

“We hope that it becomes an important part of the community and we will look to learn and improve as it develops and as we listen to and learn from the people who use it. I hope that this sets the direction for what mental health support should look like across our communities.”

Liam Gilfellon, Director of Relationships at Everyturn Mental Health commented: “We are so excited to see The Space being launched in Newcastle, after a long period of planning.

“The current economic uncertainty, the cost-of-living crisis, and the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, has and continues to put people under immense pressure – The Space is a collaborative space to bring services together in the local community which will allow people to get the support and advice they need in a timely, accessible way.”

Planning for The Space has been underway since 2022 and has been created as part of a community transformation programme. It also works towards the NHS Long Term Plan, bringing health and social care into the heart of communities.

The Space will serve as a walk-in facility, with no need for a referral.

On arriving, a person will be greeted by a staff member who will explain the services available. They will introduce the person to the most relevant professional, for example, if someone has a social care need, they will be directed to a designated social worker.

People will be able to access multiple professionals if they have a number of different needs.

If a person comes in who is a resident of the west end of Newcastle but is not registered, they may be supported to register or, if they are registered elsewhere, they may be signposted to relevant information or contact details for services that can assist them outside The Space.

In cases where people are registered with another GP but are in mental health crisis and appear to need urgent care, the person will be supported by the most appropriate person at The Space and where required, the crisis team can be contacted.

The North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board will lead on evaluating the pilot, which will match services based on the needs of the population.