North Lincolnshire health officials and partners are looking at how to make best use of available space at a major Scunthorpe health centre. The two-storey Ironstone Centre in West Street is currently home to three GP practices and a range of services, including adult mental health, podiatry, sexual health, dermatology, physio and community dental.

Now, working on behalf of NHS North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) as its estates partner, Citycare has reviewed the organisation’s primary and community care allocation across the area and identified improvements and savings could be made, as well as highlighting the benefits of integrated care.

A utilisation study was completed, using state-of-the-art technology to capture a snapshot of movement within the building over one month, monitoring how well the space was used. While the building is fully occupied in terms of tenancy, the study identified areas where the CCG could save money and increase use of space in some areas.

As part of the study, recommendations were made to potentially bring some services currently based within acute hospital settings into the building, such as the frail and elderly assessment team, locating them together under one roof.

The Citycare team is now working with all partners and stakeholders involved to ensure every part of the centre is used in the best way possible and plans are being developed regarding how best to unite the most appropriate services in a hub.

The building is owned by NHS Property Services, which is fully supporting the work and has also identified funding to utilise some of the building’s indoor and outdoor space for support services which improve people’s health, such as gardening clubs.

Chloe Nicholson, Senior Commissioning Manager for Community Services at NHS North Lincolnshire CCG, said: “The utilisation of the Ironstone Centre is part of a much broader out-of-hospital programme of work in which we’re trying to achieve a more integrated response to meet the needs of people in North Lincolnshire closer to home, enabling and building on our community resources.

“The Ironstone Centre is based within the town of Scunthorpe and could be a central hub to support our overall vision for out-of-hospital care.

“As part of this work, it is imperative that we work as an integrated health and care system in collaboration to achieve the best response for our population.

“Citycare has successfully driven progress of this project through negotiation, building strong relationships and close partnership working with the CCG at all stages.

“They have enabled us to progress in achieving this vision and pulled in key partners, such as NHS Property Services, who have collaboratively identified further opportunities and support to move forward with this project.”

Caroline Havler, Development Manager at Citycare, said: “This is a really exciting project because you can see how the building could be a hive of activity and well used by everyone who needs it.

“We’re helping to facilitate and bring stakeholders together to solve any underusage problems and ensure the services are situated in the right place to make best use of space and provide best value for money for the NHS.”