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4.6.1 The overall vision is to be a healthy town bringing together health, wellbeing, sport and recreation with better mental health. A thriving GP practice operates from an enlarged site to deliver the care  required for the growing town and hinterland villages, working closely with other organisations.

4.6.2 Many of the themes in the ANP are very closely interlinked. Housing provision, informal open space access and health and social care are particularly closely interwoven. Policies in this section will have a direct housing impact and arise from our Attleborough older people’s housing needs investigations. However, there are also many links to transport, leisure and environmental design themes and policies.

Research by Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors (I’DGO) www.idgo.ac.uk/ has found that good design of Britain’s gardens, streets, neighbourhoods and open spaces has positive effects on older people’s ability to age well and live independently, preventing increased admissions to hospitals and residential care homes. Measures to make streets less car-centric can improve older people’s perception of supportiveness and safety. ANP policies on transport and on leisure are therefore both highly relevant to the needs of older residents.

4.6.3 At a neighbourhood-wide scale I’DGO reports it is good paths, accessible open space, safe crossings and plentiful seats and greenery that really make the difference. Design and materials for informal recreation space need careful specification, with consideration given to UK weather patterns, again so that older and frailer people are encouraged to continue to take regular exercise. The policies in the design section of Theme 7 are therefore relevant to improving the lives of older residents and visitors to Attleborough. Co-locating the GP surgery with other health and recreational facilities near the station and the Recreation Ground assist staff in offering encouragement to all groups, young and old, to improve health care by taking regular exercise.

Objective HSC1
To provide a new and integrated Health and Social Care facility.

Community Action: New Care Facility.
The Town Council will seek to work with third parties to provide for the delivery of a dual registered care facility for around 65 beds in Attleborough.

4.6.4 The evidence collected for the Health and Social Care Theme Group on current housing provision is that less than 10% of the expected demand for housing with care can be accommodated within 5 miles of the centre of Attleborough. If older people were able to move into appropriate housing, with care and support available if required, the move would help ease the wider pressures on the housing market as many larger family homes would be made available for growing families to move into, in turn freeing up
smaller properties for first time buyers. Norfolk Adult Services in 2008 More Choices, Better Choices consulted older people and groups representing them on what would be important to them if they needed to leave their home and move into a care setting and 85% stated that they would prefer housing with care rather than a care home because it would give them their own front door and allow for greater independence, but with support.

4.6.5 The search for a suitable site has been coordinated by the ANP Health & Social Care Theme Group, and discussions are advancing well with landowners on suitable sites meeting the criteria recommended by the Group, with a view to allocating a site (or sites) with Housing with Care identified as its main use, and also with a Dementia Care facility.

Objective HSC2
Work with Health and Social care providers to deliver a new model of health care provision and treatment.

Policy HSC.P1
The provision of a new joint GP surgery and primary care provision at the existing Station Road site (shown on Policies Map 2) would be supported, subject to respecting local character, residential amenity and highway safety.

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4.6.6 The delivery of services in a new way, such as the model in Aylsham, would require implementing different delivery strategies rather than just land use planning policies. The registered population of the Attleborough GP surgery Practice has risen from 17,400 reported in earlier evidence, and as at 16 July 2016 is 17,750. Patients come from both in the town and from several surrounding villages and settlements. The GP partnership is currently operating from two sites located within Attleborough: 

Queen’s Square and Station Road. Due to the split site and limitations of its buildings, the practice staff face daily challenges to providing the service it would like to and patients expect of it.

4.6.7 A single site is in keeping with the strategic direction of NHS England and the ‘Five Year Forward View’ October 2014. The GP practice states that “Expanding the practice premises is essential if we are to develop new care models that provide for integrated health and social care provision for the expanded town of Attleborough”. The practice anticipates requiring extensive expansion/new build when compared to the current footprint of the two combined surgeries. The expansion of space would be designed to give maximum flexibility to promote integrated care provision. The Station Road site has the following benefits: it provides good access to existing patients; is well located to also serve new residents on the SUE; and the NHS clinic adjoins the surgery, offering the option for both to work closely together and potentially to achieve cost savings. The Station Road site is close to the Recreation Ground where informal recreation can be promoted for health. The transport hub objective of improving bus connections to the nearby station also helps public transport connections for this site, which will ensure it would be a good choice for enlarged GP health care provision.

4.6.8 There is room to expand by building an extension on the existing building. There is potential to add at least one additional storey, which would be supported provided it meets BC planning policy on form, massing, ridge height, adequate parking and the access and turning on site applicable in this location.

4.6.9 These policies address the two highest priority health & social care objectives as found in consultations. Consultation responses also suggested both dementia care facilities and improving mental health care for young people are high priorities. Further objectives are:

  • Working with the voluntary sector, develop community resources providing
  • housing with care facilities
  • Enhance midwife and health visitor provision to meet childrens’ needs
  • Work with Norfolk and Suffolk Mental Health Care Trust to extend counselling services for young people, and acute service facilities for this area
  • Develop home-based care services and support
  • Build housing for elderly disabled and vulnerable users
  • Build a Dementia care facility for high dependency users