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GPs to work in ‘wellness centre’ alongside library and arts therapy under plans

A state of the art ‘wellness centre’ covering 35,000 patients will house GPs, a library and exercise referral facilities under proposals to relieve pressure on Swansea GPs.

The plans for the 7000m2 development will also include research facilities, mental health and sexual health services.

Proposing the plans, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University (ABMU) Health Board told Swansea Public Services Board that urrent GP premises are out of date and unsuitable with practices facing ‘acute’ staff shortages.

It added that a rising population alongside increasing numbers of students in Swansea will leave patients facing significant problems accessing a doctor

The plans would see GPs working in a hub – set out in a diagram – which boasts other ‘wellbeing services’ such as a library, exercise referral as well as research facilities, mental health and sexual health services.

The board paper said: ’GP practices which may now be based in older premises, or which are too small, could also move into the centre, to take advantage of state-of-the-art new facilities. We also hope the centre will meet the growing primary care needs of the area, where there is high level of ill health.

’At this very early stage, nothing is set in stone, but we are delighted to be talking with our partners about how we can work together to offer joined up care for these Swansea city centre residents.’

Sian Harrop-Griffiths, ABMU’s director of strategy, said discussions were taking place to consider if the Centre could be located within the city centre regeneration plans.

‘The centre would form part of a wider regional health and wellbeing model aimed to support the long term wellbeing of the population, address the sustainability of healthcare services and the increasing pressure on primary care.’

Dr Charlotte Jones, chair of the Welsh GPC, said: ‘We are not necessarily seeing anything new being proposed.

‘How services can be delivered most effectively will vary from locality to locality. There is no one size fits all approach.’

She added: ‘We welcome health board and Welsh Government support for practices and their staff to enable them to deliver high quality services to patients, whether this is through current premises or working at scale in larger groupings of practices.’

Earlier this year the Welsh Government announced it’s backing for a similar multimillion-pound Wellness and Life Science Village in Llanelli agreeing to fund a business plan.